Despite the snow, Steve Brine held a public meeting this evening focussed on the future of the local NHS.
The event heard from a top panel of key local clinicians, made up of Mr Richard Samuel, the Sustainability and Transformation Plan Lead from NHS South Eastern Hampshire CCG, Dr Andrew Bishop, the Interim Chief Executive of Hampshire Hospital Foundation Trust, Myrddin Rees, the Interim Chief Medical Officer at HHFT, Heather Hauschild, the Chief Officer of West Hampshire CCG and Dr Tim Cotton, the Vice Clinical Chair at West Hampshire CCG.
The focus of this gathering, the third in Mr Brine's ASKtheNHS series, was on the recently published Service & Transformation Plan (STP) which charts future health and social care services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The comprehensive plan, published in November, is a wide-ranging strategic plan which will run until 2021 and emerges as a final review takes place into the future of acute and emergency hospital services across Winchester, Basingstoke and Southampton.
The meeting heard presentations from the panel and included a detailed Q&A with members of the public who raised issues raised including the link between the NHS and social care, the management of long-term conditions, future NHS funding and local GP services. There was also a substantive discussion about a proposal from HHFT to build a new £350m Critical Treatment Hospital between Winchester and Basingstoke to care for the sickest patients.
Speaking after the event, Steve Brine said: "These meetings are always worthwhile and while we may have been hit a little on numbers by the snow storm which landed just before we started, we more than made up for it in the quality of the debate. The NHS is one of our most treasured national assets and its future is always going to be of interest to those of us who ultimately pay for it.
"There is obviously a lively debate right now about the challenges faced by the service and this Government will go on putting the money in as we promised to do but that must go hand in hand with reform and the design of services that are fit for today as well as the next 20-30 years.
"I was extremely grateful to the highly qualified panel for giving their time but also the many local residents who came and make some really thoughtful and helpful contributions from the floor. The NHS has been my number one priority from day one as an MP and, while we all know it's under great demand at this time, as I said to the meeting we should all be really proud of what it delivers day after day and we should be positive about its' future. The fact that was overwhelming the tone of this meeting was just great."
Pictured; Steve Brine opens the meeting and sets the scene.
More information ...
You can see details of this meeting and all those in the Askthe ... series
You can find links to the STP at Steve's Priority NHS mini-site