“We want to make it as easy as possible for you to be able to get involved,” say the doctors in charge of the Horsham and Mid Sussex NHS budget.
The Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) met the public at the Pavilions in the Park on Tuesday.
Doctors are now in control of a £231.1 m annual medical budget for the 212,000 people living in Horsham and Mid Sussex.
Dr Simon Dean, Horsham Locality Chair, said the new CCG system is unlike the previous one because it is led by doctors and seeks to involve the public.
He said they have identified five issues which need to be addressed, the first one being the ageing population.
“There’s such complex issues as end of life care, but also things like local care for patients, so they don’t have to travel to East Surrey for the care that they could have in Horsham.
Their other priorities are: improving the health of children and young people; improving mental wellbeing and tackling alcohol abuse; reducing health inequalities; and reconfiguring services for a sustainable health economy.
Senior communications manager Carla Dow told the meeting that the GPs, guided by public input, should be able to shape local healthcare to make it suit the area.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for you to be able to get involved with us as a CCG,” she said.
They have a membership scheme, whereby people can register by post or email to be sent information as well as invitations to get involved in projects that are relevant to their knowledge and experiences.
Ms Dow said they are also using Facebook and Twitter to reach the widest audience possible.
A statement from CCG clinical chair Dr Minesh Patel said: “These launch events are all about explaining to the public what the CCG does, who we are and how they can get involved.
“People don’t need to give up huge amounts of time to have a real influence on their local NHS services - we want to make patient involvement as simple and easy, but as effective, as it can be.”
Of the CCG’s £231.1m budget for 2013/14, £117.6m is being spent on hospital services; £26.9m on community health services such as community hospitals and community-based care including nurses, health visitors and therapists; £31.6m on medicines; £19.1m on mental health services; £3.3m on services for people with learning difficulties; and £19.5m on continuing and funded care.
Get in touch at Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive, Crawley, call (01293) 600300 ext 4255, email HSCCG.Contactusfirstname.lastname@example.org visit the Facebook page NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, or follow @HorshMidSusxCCG on Twitter.