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The big conversation - #oursaycounts for people in Bradford District and Craven

A new report, released today, shows what matters most to local people about the future of health and social care.

Throughout July and August 2017, Healthwatch Bradford and District, commissioned by NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), created a ‘big conversation’ with people across the local area.

The final report, which is being presented to the Bradford Health and Wellbeing Board next week, will be used to directly inform and shape the Bradford District and Craven health and care plan for the next five years.

The aim was to find out what mattered most to people about health and social care, where there might be willingness to compromise and what could be done differently in the future. Over 800 people gave their views. Ideas and comments ranged from individual experiences to thinking about wider issues and the needs of the population.


GP practices were mentioned more often than any other service, specifically around access to GP appointments. GP services, along with emergency care, mental health services and social care support were all areas that the public felt should be protected. However, people strongly emphasised that they would support changes where there is evidence that care would be improved.

There was also widespread recognition that there are lots of things that the public can do to make services sustainable and fit for the future. These included preventing ill health through adopting healthier lifestyles and using services wisely.

Helen Hirst, chief officer, Bradford District and Craven CCGs, said: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute to this really important conversation. We will be working with local partners to make sure that the views of local people help shape future plans across the system. This will make ensure people get the right care, from the right service, at the right time.

“It is widely recognised that the health and care system is under pressure, but we will be open and honest about the challenges ahead. We will not make any major changes without further engagement and consultation with local people.”

Cllr Val Slater, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing for Bradford Council, said: “One of the biggest challenges for the Bradford district is to ensure we can deliver improvements in the quality of our health and care services; and enhance the lives of our residents to help them become healthier and happier despite an increasing demand for services.”

“That’s why it is vital that people from across the district have their say and determine clearly the services they value and rely on. I want local people to continue to benefit from high quality, safe and sustainable health and care services.” 

“This report will be influential in making sure we make the right decisions as we find new ways of providing services in the future.”

Sarah Hutchinson, manager, Healthwatch Bradford and District, said: “We were grateful that so many people took the time to share their ideas with us. We are really encouraged that what they told us will be used to ensure that local services will be developed around what they told us they need and expect. Our report really highlights how important it is to engage with the community – and that that when people take the opportunity to give their views, that it can make a real difference.”

For more information about the ‘big conversation’ and to view the final report, visit the Healthwatch Bradford and District website or search social media for #oursaycounts.

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