People living, working and studying in Oxfordshire are being encouraged to help set the future direction of the county’s health and wellbeing strategy.
A draft strategy has been developed by Oxfordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board – the partnership between local NHS services, local councils and Healthwatch Oxfordshire. The board’s joint working approach aims to improve everyone’s health and wellbeing, but especially of those people who have health problems or are in difficult circumstances due to age or vulnerability.
The strategy outlines the actions the board is proposing to take, but it now wants further input from the wider public. A survey document is available here https://bit.ly/2CGkoj4 together with the draft strategy so people can add their views and ideas. Feedback from previous public engagement, especially around the health and wellbeing of children and young people and older people was used in developing the document. The survey is open until 20 February 2019.
Dr Kiren Collison, vice chair of the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board, chair of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) and west Oxfordshire GP, said: “Health in the county is generally good compared with the national picture. Residents live longer here than elsewhere and remain healthy into older age for longer than the national average. We have some of the leading health service and academic organisations in the country on our doorstep, and many highly rated services.
“However, we face many challenges. The number of people with chronic diseases is growing. Demand for all our services is increasing and funding is tight. House prices locally are high which affects workforce shortages.
“We know we have to find our way through these challenges. Our major asset is our willingness to work together as organisations and with local people to find new solutions to these ongoing issues. That’s what this strategy is all about and that’s why we want to know whether the people of Oxfordshire feel it is right for the future.
“I would urge as many people as possible to read the documents and take part in the survey. It’s an important conversation so we know what matters most to our residents and how we can best work together to deliver those services.”
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board and Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “This strategy is all about you, the people who live in, work in and visit Oxfordshire. It tells the story of how the NHS, local councils and Healthwatch will work together to improve your health and wellbeing.
“The strategy paints a picture of the things we intend to do, but it needs input from you. We’re always striving to improve the services we deliver and we have to work together to find new solutions to old problems.
“We will listen carefully to the views expressed in this survey and our strategy will be reviewed in light of the feedback we have received.”