Access to health and care services in Hammersmith & Fulham has changed for the better following ground-breaking public engagement forums held earlier this year.
Four neighbourhood health forums were held across the borough from January to March, allowing residents to share their experiences of healthcare services directly with the council and NHS.
Such was their success, a series of changes has now been made as a direct result of the feedback and should make residents’ lives easier and healthier. This includes making booking GP appointments easier.
“It was fantastic to see how well attended these meetings were and to hear the experiences and ideas residents had for how we can improve things,” said Cllr Sharon Holder, Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Lead Member for Hospitals and Healthcare, who chaired the forums.
“They have proved invaluable and as a direct result we have worked with our health partners to introduce a range of new work practices to help keep everyone safe and well.”
Among the changes to be introduced following residents’ feedback are:
- Making it easier to book a GP appointment
- Better information about the range of available healthcare services
- Improving the Community Transport Service
- More information on the Patients’ Participation Group (PPG)
- Making it easier to access services in neighbouring boroughs.
“Hammersmith & Fulham’s administration has a great track record in preserving healthcare services,” added Cllr Holder.
“We’ve reduced costs for meals on wheels, abolished 15-minute home care slots, retained the living wage for care staff, maintained the Independent Living Fund and of course, fought to protect Charing Cross Hospital and its vital A&E.”
The four forums included a panel of representatives from the council, local NHS, other health providers and patient representative groups.
They provided residents with a unique platform to air their views directly to the NHS and make suggestions on how services can be improved.
Discussion at the forums covered topics including:
- Access to GPs, appointments and the NHS
- Quality of hospital services
- Adult social care
- Community and healthcare transport.