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the BIG conversation

Like many other NHS organisations, we are facing an unprecedented financial challenge in 2019/20 and beyond. We can only meet this challenge with support from healthcare providers, stakeholders, and importantly residents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
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Why did we run the BIG conversation?

We developed the BIG conversation to talk to the wider public, as well as our stakeholders, about how we use our valuable NHS resources, how we can each take more responsibility for our own health and put patients at the heart of our decision making processes.

How did we run the BIG conversation?

The BIG conversation ran between 27 September 2019 and 20 December 2019. It was created to help the CCG better understand what matters most to local communities, as well as asking for ideas from the public and NHS staff that could help us to make savings in the future.

The BIG conversation was publicised widely through physical leaflets and posters in GP practices, hospitals, pharmacies and libraries; stories ran in local newspapers and on the radio; social media activity including significant interaction with community Facebook groups across our area; and face-to-face engagement at a range of events and gatherings in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

While almost 6,000 people submitted their views through our survey, we also gained a lot of valuable feedback through other routes. This included Facebook messages and comments, emails received over the course of the BIG conversation and comments made at any of our BIG conversation events and meetings. You can find out more about our work in our final report.

As part of the BIG conversation the CCG heard that…

  • 93% of people thought that we should only prescribe items that could not be easily purchased over the counter.
  • 88% of people thought that we should redirect people to other NHS services if they went to A&E and didn’t have a serious injury or illness.
  • 79% of people wanted to access healthcare services faster via technology, for example telephone appointments with their doctor or live chat with a trained healthcare professional.
  • 77% of people would be happy to have targets set to improve their own health, such as stopping smoking, reducing their weight or alcohol consumption, before planned operations.
  • 73% people would like on place to contact for advice and treatment which could book them an urgent appointment with the right service within two days or sooner.
  • 70% of people would rather travel further for a specialist appointment if they could be seen quicker.
  • 67% of people said that if a doctor thought they needed to be referred to hospital you should be seen as soon as possible.

However, not all questions generated such a strong response. When it came to the question about how we could save money, people were divided on how best to approach the challenge. Forty-three percent thought we should review all of our services and only keep the ones that had the greatest positive impact on the health of our community, while stopping others, compared to 57% who thought we should make smaller reductions to most of our services.

When it came to routine follow-up appointments after a treatment, where everything has gone well, only 11% of people thought they should be seen face-to-face to be reassured that everything had gone well. Whereas, 41% would be happy to have a telephone call or video call with a health professional to follow-up and determine if you needed to see a doctor if there was any concern. The remaining 48% of people said that in most cases, if there was no need for a follow-up appointment, they would be happy to be given a number to call if they had any concerns in the future.

The feedback will be used as a framework for the CCG when it is looking to buy healthcare services in the future, but any future healthcare service changes would still be subject to full and proper consultation.

10/03/2020