The NHS nationally is struggling to meet an ever increasing demand on services with restricted finances and resources. People are now living longer, often in poor health, and this is making it more difficult to afford all the health and care services that the NHS currently pays for.
This is being particularly felt in the work of local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who are responsible for buying and planning health services for their local populations. Across central Sussex and East Surrey, the CCGs now have a large gap between what they can afford and the amount it costs to deliver the existing health and care services. We have a duty to make sure we do not carry on spending more money than we have and we will have to make some difficult decisions around services that are not cost effective in the months ahead.
We also have a duty to make sure patients, carers and the public are involved in decisions that we make whenever possible. This is something we take extremely seriously. We work hard to make sure those who use local services are actively involved in our work, but now we want to go above and beyond this.
We are making three public pledges that reaffirm our commitment to being open, honest and transparent with our public about the difficult decisions we have to make – these can be found in this document. We have clearly define how we will bring these pledges to life to show how the words are being backed up by actions.
We are also asking the public to think about what they can do to ensure NHS services are being used in the most effective and appropriate way, by making a pledge of their own. We would like people to think about, and let us know, what actions they can take to #HelpMyNHS. This may involve them using services appropriately, turning up to appointments, or buying medication instead of having them prescribed.