Due to a growing demand for services and other cost pressures, we cannot carry on doing everything we have traditionally done in the same way as before. Every year the CCGs are tasked with making efficiency savings such as caring for more patients without the need for hospital admission or reducing medicines waste. However every year it is becoming increasingly more difficult to make these changes which is why earlier this year we wanted to ask our patients about other options we might have to consider in the future, such as restricting access to various treatments.
The results of this engagement exercise are now available: Download the final report
This engagement exercise marked the beginning of that conversation, with nearly 4,500 people taking the time to share their views on some of these ideas. This level of response indicates how much people care for their local NHS services and how willing they are to help shape what we do in the future.
Over the coming months our clinicians will be considering these results as they continue to explore ways of making future savings. As part of this we will look at some of these areas in more detail and will carry out specific engagement exercises with patients, carers and service providers before taking any specific decisions.
Update (4 October 2016)
At the September and October Governing Body Meetings of the Worcestershire CCGs members agreed the recommendation to undertake further work on six specific areas;
- Gluten-free foods on prescription
- ‘Over the counter’ medicines on prescription to treat short-term minor conditions
- Assisted conception treatment (IVF)
- Primary care hearing aid services
- Non-essential health treatments
- The provision of some treatments for patients where the risk of complexity is heightened or likelihood of positive outcomes is compromised due to the person’s unhealthy lifestyle.
It is recommended that further work was undertaken on each area to better understand the likely impact of implementing any changes. Further engagement work with local patients, clinicians and voluntary and community sector organisations would then follow in December 2016.
Update (22 November 2016)
Over the past few months the Worcestershire CCGs have undertaken more work on the areas identified above. This has allowed the CCGs to develop a more clear understanding of the likely impact of implementing any proposed changes. The CCGs are currently unconvinced about the level of savings that would be achieved were specific restrictions to be introduced to primary care hearing aid services and ‘over the counter’ medicines on prescription.
Taking this into consideration, along with the responses received from patients, community groups and other key stakeholders as part of the first phase of engagement, the CCGs are not taking proposals around primary care hearing aid services or ‘over the counter’ medicines any further at this stage.