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Health and social care is just about to get better for the 750,000 residents of North East Hampshire and Farnham, Surrey Heath and East Berkshire.

Thanks to a new plan that pulls together councils, the NHS and community partners, services for people’s physical and mental wellbeing will be more accessible, closer to home and delivered in a more straightforward way.

The Frimley Health and Care Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) published today (24 November 2016) is one of 44 plans set up across the country to deliver the Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved efficiency. The plan sets out how this will be achieved locally and how services will evolve and become more sustainable over the next five years.

This plan expands upon the work which is already underway in local communities to transform services for people by improving care and helping them to live longer healthier lives. Local people will have access to high quality consistent care as close to home as possible, with specialist services centralised where necessary.

The STP is being led by Sir Andrew Morris, chief executive of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. He said: “This is an exciting time for health and social care in our area. Our plan builds on the strong relationships already developed between councils and NHS organisations and it will make a real difference to care local people receive.”

The plan focuses on four priorities:

  • Developing communities and social networks so that people have the skills, support and confidence to look after themselves.
  • Focusing on NHS staffing to ensure the workforce is ready to meet the demands of our communities.
  • Delivering consistent care for all aspects of a person’s life.
  • Using technology to help improve outcomes and increase efficiency.

The Frimley Health and Social Care STP will over the next five years:

  • Invest in frontline NHS and care services to improve waiting times, treatment and home-based care for local people. GPs will have more time to focus on the patients with the highest need and the number of community nurses and pharmacists will increase.
  • Secure extra funding so people can get a GP appointment from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. That’s 420,000 more GP appointments across North East Hampshire, Surrey Heath and East Berkshire.  Offer increased access to urgent weekend care including - new ‘health hubs’ across the community for specialist and family doctors, community nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists and pharmacists.
  • Invest in mental health services so patients needing specialist care may not always need to travel out of the area and provide services seven days a week.
  • Ensure patients can access their medical records online, and use technology for those with diabetes, heart or breathing problems, to monitor their health and alert doctors to any problems.

The plans cover a period of five years (from 2016 to 2021) and have now been published. You can find out more about the local STP here and you can see the full Frimley Health and Social Care STP here.

Local people will be invited to get involved in early 2017 and help shape the health and care services in their community.