FINANCE is a major problem facing health chiefs covering Uttoxeter as they make plans to make the NHS function better, it has been revealed to members of a town forum.
Tracey Shewan, assistant director of nursing for NHS England for Staffordshire and Shropshire, met with members of the Uttoxeter and District Forum 50 Plus this week to discuss developments with the NHS and answer any questions.
During the meeting she told members how the NHS was working to improve services after questions were raised over whether the town will get a cardiac rehabilitation service back after patients were told last month they will now have to travel to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital to receive support rather than have it in their own homes.
Hazel Edginton, who is a member of the group, said: “I cannot thank the cardiac service enough for how they have helped me.
“When that ended I went down to the rehabilitation service at Balance Street Surgery but we have not got that now either.”
Mrs Shewan said a major problem for the East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group was finance and they had to use what cash they had to create a ‘greater economy and to function better’.
However, she pointed out this was not a permanent loss with the cardiac support as the original provider pulled out last minute so they had to find a replacement.
She said: “The heart rehabilitation service was used to the satisfaction of the people using it in Uttoxeter and it is a loss if we cannot have it in Uttoxeter anymore.”
Mrs Shewan was presented with some positive news from the group as members told her they had ‘no complaints’ about the GP service in Uttoxeter, a problem she said arose in many other areas she had visited.
She said: “Most of the problems is with access to GP services but you have said that is not a problem here.
“A good GP service is a bed rock of good health care. We have found in some places that people are using A&E services because they cannot get access to their GP.
“People can go in there and get their problem sorted in one day.
“Some people have even said we should have a GP at the entrance to the A&E department but we found a walk-in centre there did not work that well. Another issue is that some cultures do not understand primary care.”
Another problem Mrs Shewan said the NHS was trying to address was the lack of communication between health care providers which can sometimes mean people are not getting the information they require as fast as they should.
Waste medications cost the NHS thousands every year but they cannot be recycled, another issue the health service is currently trying to find a solution for.
Mrs Shewan added: “There is a real wasteful behaviour with medication. I think there is a lot to still be done with the management of medication.”