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.
A new environmentally sound development project is being proclaimed as saving both money and reducing carbon emissions for a prominent NHS trust.
Conquest Hospital, part of the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, has recently unveiled a new server room which will play a critical role in a new cutting-edge approach to energy consumption at the hospital.
The room was opened last week by The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, and already the potential achievements of this innovation have been lauded.
It is suggested that this server room, which forms part of an ecologically-friendly project in the NHS trust, will save £112,650 and reduce carbon emissions by the hefty total of 505 tonnes.
Designed and built by Comms Room Services, the new facility is at the cutting-edge of energy-efficient solutions for data centres, delivering huge savings on hospital running costs.
Benefits include the hospital achieving a Power Usage Effectiveness score of 1.04, as well as providing a stable power environment.
Another aspect of the new development that will help it deliver a more ecologically-friendly environment for the NHS trust is the separation of cold and hot airflows.
This will enable the trust to further reduce energy consumption, while also having the added benefit of improving server reliability.
The raised floor structure has also been built into the server room, which will enable maximum throughput of air into the cold pile, and eliminate hotspots.
This will play a further role in ensuring reliability and the ecological qualities of the development.
Speaking publicly at the opening of the server room, the aforementioned Rudd was positive about the benefits of the technology involved.
“It’s great to hear that the sum of £112,000 will be saved over five years. That could be spent on two or three salaries or investment in the hospital. It could be a really important part of helping people with patient care,” Rudd commented.
Andy Bissenden from East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, was also enthusiastic about the potential of the technological development, and particularly praised the economic benefits.
“One of the things we looked at was return on investment. The evaporative cooling solution gave us a payback of five years on this site on design, but taking in consideration the shutting of our Eastbourne data centre, and the additional space we got through the design, it has enabled us to reduce this to three years,” Rudd stated.
Among the energy-efficient technologies installed are LED lighting with passive infrared sensor operation and a Coolvap cooling solution.
It is hoped that other NHS trusts will follow the example of the East Sussex organisation and develop and install similar green technology within hospitals across the United Kingdom in the foreseeable future.