PCT "committed to working with patients and the public"

Patients have met with North East Essex Primary Care Trust to say how they would like the PCT to spend its financial resources to improve health services.

PCT “committed to working with patients and the public”

Patients have met with North East Essex Primary Care Trust to say how they would like the PCT to spend its financial resources to improve health services.

The first meeting of the “Patient Commissioning Forum” was held last week (30 Jan) in Colchester and will be followed by a second meeting in Clacton later this month.

The meeting was led by Matt Bushell, the PCT’s director of strategic development and commissioning, who said the forum would meet regularly in the future.

He said the PCT’s strategy is to ensure the development of high-quality services, services closer to home and services affordable within the resources available.

“The fundamental aim was to find out how patients and the public want us to spend the limited resources we have to improve services,” he said. “More than 20 people attended and we had a lively debate lasting a couple of hours which has given the PCT plenty to think about.

“The first challenge the group was set was to help the PCT continue to bring down waiting times in orthopaedics. They had plenty of ideas and a 10-point plan was agreed which included making an assessment of using local independent providers and asking Colchester General Hospital to make better use of their diagnostic equipment by carrying out early morning and evening sessions.

“North East Essex PCT is committed to working with all stakeholders and the most important stakeholders of all are patients and the public who we want to put at the centre of all that we do. We are totally committed to working with patients and the public.”

The people who attended the first meeting of the Patient Commissioning Forum were members of the Colchester Patients’ Executive Committee, Tendring Patient and Public Involvement and Patient Experience Steering Group and the Patient and Public Involvement Forum (PPI) affiliated to North East Essex PCT.

The PCT was formed on 1 October last year when the former Colchester and Tendring PCTs joined together.

Mr Bushell said it was committed to stakeholder engagement and just 34 days after it was established more than 60 people from all over Colchester and Tendring attended a workshop organised by the PCT to help it develop a vision for community-based health services.

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