Rugby healthcare 'inadequate' as town grows, meeting hears - The Rugby Observer

Rugby healthcare 'inadequate' as town grows, meeting hears

Rugby Editorial 26th Feb, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

INADEQUATE health and social care services in Rugby came under the spotlight at a packed meeting of professionals and service users.

Residents raised concerns that already struggling services will be stretched further as the town grows, at a meeting organised by Healthwatch Warwickshire.

They say it is already impossible to access A&E and maternity services in Rugby and in many cases patients are forced to travel elsewhere, such as University Hospital in Coventry – leading to further cost, time and transportation problems.

Worries were also raised about the loss of Brownsover Medical Practice and Albert Street Medical Practice, and Rugby Borough Council’s plan to build 12,400 extra homes across the borough over the next 15 years.

Other issues flagged up during the meeting included the rise in hospital car park charges, the reduction in mental health services, the trend of ignoring the physical health of mental health patients and the lack of support given to carers who are already under huge stress.

The event was one of a series of workshops taking place across the county between November last year and April this year.

Chris Bain, Chief Executive of Healthcare Warwickshire, said: “There is currently a culture of health and social care which needs challenging. The aim of these workshops is to get to the heart of the issues facing health and social care and clearly in Rugby one of the many concerns was the shrinking health service against the backdrop of an expanding borough.

“Another common theme that came across was that many people either didn’t like to, or didn’t feel they could, challenge the decisions made in the best interests of their welfare. Many feel that doctor knows best which may well be true but certainly one of our own key challenges as a patient representative body is educating people that it is possible for them to take more control of their own health and social welfare.”

Mr Bain added there were many positive aspects to the meeting, such as the availability of same day appointments with GPs, the accessibility of urgent care through Rugby’s walk-in centre, the provision of a voluntary transport service and a good service in particular when patients or service users show assertiveness.

The series of meetings aims to find out what aspects of health and social care are working well, and those that are not, and to ask the public what changes need to be made.

Once all the meetings have taken place, Healthwatch Warwickshire will compile a report which will go before decision makers in health and social care.

Another meeting, hosted in partnership with the Warwickshire Race Equality Partnership (WREP), will take place in The Conference Suite at Rugby College on Thursday March 10.

The final meeting will take place at The Presbytery in Dormer Place, Leamington, on Thursday April 14.

If you are unable to make the meetings but would like your say on services, click here or call 01926 453964.

Yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn exclusively told the Observer how he would improve Rugby’s healthcare infrastructure – click here to read more.

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