A spokesman for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire NHS region has indicated that institutions in the area will endeavour to engage in a dialogue with the public.
The two counties are currently collaborating on a sustainability plan for NHS services, and have moved to ensure the public that their views will be taken on board as part of this process.
Eventually, a joint Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), in order to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View, with be released by the counties.
Plans are currently being made across the NHS to ensure that the health service delivers in a way that is safe and sustainable for the future.
But there has been concern in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire region that the process of working together could result in the public being excluded from the process.
Yet a spokesman for Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) denied that this would be the case, instead outlining the process for the STP.
“The latest iteration of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) was submitted to NHS England on October 21. We are awaiting feedback to help us refine the plan before we then go on to engage more widely.”
Details were also divulged on a process of consultation with NHS patients.
“We are planning to start a conversation with the public on the themes and ideas in the STP and there will be opportunities, wherever possible, to help shape these as we move forward. Again to reassure people no major or significant changes to how we provide services will be made without full and proper engagement.”
NHS net expenditure (resource plus capital, minus depreciation) has increased from £75.822 billion in 2005/06 to £117.229 billion in 2015/16. Planned expenditure for 2016/17 is £118.829 billion.
In real terms the budget is expected to increase from £117.229 billion in 2015/16 to £120.151 billion by 2019/20.
Health expenditure (medical services, health research, central and other health services) per capita in England has risen from £1,868 in 2010/11 to £2,057 in 2014/15.
The NHS net deficit for the 2015/16 financial year was £1.851 billion (£599m underspend by commissioners and a £2.45 billion deficit for trusts and foundation trusts).
And the most recently published national surveys of investment for mental health found there had been real terms reductions of 1 per cent for working age adults and 3.1 per cent for older people in 2011/12.
Herefordshire has one CCG responsible for buying health care services, and one acute hospital trust.
Worcestershire has three CCGs and one acute hospital trust.