The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland would like to hear the views of local patients about 101 policies that describe when and how non-emergency operations and treatments are carried out.
Some examples of these are hip and knee replacements, operations to correct a cataract, joint injections and varicose vein surgery.
This work is being led by the three NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) responsible for planning and buying health services for local people, in partnership with local hospitals, GPs, public health and patient representatives.
Dr Hilary Fox, from East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, on behalf of the three CCGs said: “We want to make sure that patients have the best treatment for their condition and are only referred for procedures, such as operations, when we know that this is likely to be effective for their particular medical problem. There are always risks and potential complications of medical treatment, so we need to be sure that any procedure is appropriate for the patient’s individual circumstances.
“It is important to have policies in place so that doctors have clear guidance on treatments and decisions are made in the same way for each patient.”
Patients are being asked to comment on 51 existing policies, two of which have been changed, and 50 new policies that are being introduced.
Patients are invited to review the policies and let the CCGs know if they have any comments to make by Tuesday 26 September. Patients can do this in three ways:
- Visit leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/planned-care to view the policies and the supporting information; then complete a survey online.
- Request a paper copy of the survey by calling 0116 295 1116 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Attend one of the three events, where patients can find out more about the policies, ask questions and complete the survey.
- Tuesday 18 September: Falcon Hotel, 7 High St East, Uppingham, Oakham LE15 9PY from 3pm to 6pm
- Thursday 20 September: Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, 9 Newarke Street, Leicester, LE1 5SN from 10am to 1pm
- Thursday 20 September: Ramada Hotel, 22 High Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 2QL from 3pm to 6pm
At the events, there will be the opportunity for patients to hear early ideas about how services could be improved in the future and give their feedback.
Dr Hilary Fox said: “We would really like to encourage patients to comment on the policies, so that we can find out whether patients understand them, if they have any questions about them and if there is anything else that they think should be included. It is really important that patients let us know their views so that these policies are effective in guiding our health professionals and letting our patients know what to expect.
“In the future, we will be looking at how we could change some services to make them better for patients. The work we are doing on the policies now is laying the groundwork for this by making sure services are operating as efficiently as possible to start with.”