Health service consultation is vital to us

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I write in response to the letter from Dennis Miller (February 15). As Mr Miller says, we are starting a consultation on the proposed changes to local health services on March 4, which will run until May 31 and I would like to encourage people to take part.

North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group will be taking responsibility for commissioning local health services from April 1. We will be responsible for making sure that services meet the needs of people living in the North Kirklees area and that they are safe and effective.

Like other areas, we are facing a number of challenges: in particular, people are living longer with more people needing care and support, and services are becoming increasingly specialised, which is leading to better results for patients but means it is not possible to provide every services at every hospital.

We are very clear that no change is not an option and we need to act now if want to maintain high quality, safe care for our patients and keep services at Dewsbury and District Hospital. We have been talking to people about the reasons that change is needed and possible solutions for over a year, so the consultation is by no means the start of this process.

Having reviewed all the evidence put forward so far, we believe that these proposals will help to save more lives and improve recovery, give patients a better experience of care and ensure that we can keep as much care locally as possible.

However, we want to hear everyone’s views on these proposals, and will be considering any alternative suggestions or ideas people may have for how we can meet the challenges facing us and ensure people continue to get the care they need, when they need it. This is precisely the aim of the consultation, so that we can understand what people’s concerns are and how these might be addressed or whether there are any alternative approaches we could look at.

The members of NHS North Kirklees CCG have no vested interests other than trying to make sure local people have convenient, high quality healthcare for years to come. Details of the members of our governing body and a list of our member practices are available on our website at www.kirklees.nhs.uk/nhs-north-kirklees-ccg. We will be holding all our Governing Body meetings in public which members of the public are welcome to attend to hear the discussions and copies of all papers will also be available on our website.

DR DAVID KELLY

Chairman, North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group