In January 2019, NHS England published their Long Term Plan, their vision for the next 10 years. Following this, local Healthwatch were commissioned to run engagement work in their local area to find out what local people would like this to look like.
Working with other local Healthwatch in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, we spoke to people living across the region about their priorities for health and care, and how they want the NHS to work for them.
Where do Sheffield voices fit into this?
We know that health means different things to different people. While people in Sheffield might have some of the same priorities as those across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, they also might face some different challenges. So we decided to dig a little deeper, and have published our findings which are specific to the people of Sheffield.
We heard from 1271 people in Sheffield, and visited 26 different places or groups across the city, from IKEA to Crystal Peaks, and Fox Valley to the Moor Market. We used ballots, surveys, and conversation groups to allow people to have their say in a way that made most sense to them.
What did we find out?
- Some of the key messages we heard matched up to those found in the regional report. In particular, the importance of support in your community - this means NHS services being available and accessible near to where you live, but also having voluntary sector groups or organisations as a means of support.
- Some of Sheffield's key messages didn't match up to those of the wider region. In particular, Sheffielders shared concerns about the expansion of digital technologies to access care. South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw as a whole were encouraging of this approach, but people in Sheffield told us they were concerned about the people who this might exclude, such as those without internet access or who weren't confident using technology.
- People in Sheffield came up with some new priorities. Local people emphasised the importance of person-centred care - this means being involved in decisions about you care, and having advice that is tailored to you. Care should acknowledge you as a whole person, rather than focussing on different conditions or needs separately. People in Sheffield also recognised the importance of preventing illnesses, rather than just focussing on treating them. They want to see early interventions so that people don't reach crisis point, and more education to help local people stay well.
As well as the regional report forming part of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw's 5 year plan, this hyper-local information has been made available to those in Sheffield City Council and local NHS Trusts so they can design and deliver services that suit Sheffield's population over the coming years.