HEALTH and care partners in Gloucestershire have launched a major engagement exercise with staff, service users, carers and the public on how to tackle the challenges of the future.

Called 'Joining up your Care’, the initiative sets out major issues such as an ageing society, more people living with complex illness and long term conditions, increasing demand for services and limited money available.

In their engagement booklet, health and care leaders outline ideas on prevention and self care, developing community services and support and joining up services.

Using a set of open questions, Joining up your Care also invites staff, community partners, service users, carers and the public to give their views on what should be done to meet the challenges.

Members of the public can give their views at Stroud General Hospital from 1pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday, January 15, and at Stroud Farmers' Market from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, February 8.

Those taking part can also feedback and view ‘Jack’s Story’ on line at which describes how joined up care could work based on a real life scenario. 

A range of other character stories will be added to the web pages’ ‘community care and support map’ throughout the eight-week engagement period and the exercise will include community partner events, public drop in sessions and community visits from the Information Bus.

Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Helen Miller said:
“The NHS and care services are at a major crossroads both in Gloucestershire and across the country. We want to go down a road which leads to a sustainable future where we can provide more joined up services wrapped around the patient and safe, high quality specialist services when needed.

"To do this, we need to move forward with a truly shared vision of what good joined up care and support looks like. We need to use this conversation with staff, community leaders, service users, carers and the public to develop plans that are right for patient care and are affordable.

"We would like to encourage as many people as possible to get involved and help make a difference. In previous conversations, we have received some great ideas which have helped influence the choices we have taken. We look forward to receiving more helpful views and ideas.”