NHS Lothian asks over 400,000 households for their thoughts on the future of healthcare

The Lothian Health & Care System (LHCS), which is made up of NHS Lothian and the four local health and social care partnerships, is urging people to help shape healthcare in their region.

Local health and care services are asking for the public’s views on the future of care in Lothian.
Local health and care services are asking for the public’s views on the future of care in Lothian.

The pandemic has forced a major re-think across all services and systems, including healthcare. The NHS as a whole is facing sustained pressures and the LHCS wants people to have their say around the future of services over the next five years.

Together, the LHCS works to plan, commission, and deliver health and care services locally to a population of nearly one million which is projected to grow by eight per cent in the next decade.

Colin Briggs, Director of Strategic Planning, NHS Lothian, said: “We’re all aware that health and social care services are under significant and sustained pressure at the moment. That is why the LHCS is setting out its strategic direction for the next five years”.

“Our Lothian Strategic Development Framework (LSDF) describes what we’re trying to achieve, now and in the future, the challenges we face and the direction we want to take over the next five years.

"It also lays out what we think the people of the Lothians can expect from us over that time, some of which will be hard for all of us”

“However, we can’t do this in isolation. Health and care belong to us all and we really want people to tell us their thoughts and ideas, their priorities, and their expectations, and also for us to be able to work together to find the best way forward.”

Through a combination of consultations, question and answer sessions and online feedback, NHS Lothian and partners are asking for the public’s feedback on the LSDF.

More than 400,000 postcards have been landing on doormats of households across Edinburgh, West Lothian, East Lothian and Midlothian giving details of how people can get involved and share their views. This builds on a successful initial engagement period during April, May, and June.

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Mr Briggs said: “We’ve tried to be as accessible as possible in how we enable people from across our communities to give us their views.

Mr Briggs added: “We want our patients, their families, our staff and the population we serve to be as involved as possible, both now and going forward.

“We are also being candid with our communities by saying that our performance and outcomes are not what we would want them to be. We need a new direction of travel in a post-pandemic world.

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“The priorities currently outlined in the LSDF include moving care closer to home, supporting self-care, learning lessons from the pandemic, working closer with partners, improving our facilities, better utilising technology and reducing waiting lists.

“If you think we’re going in the right direction, or if you think we’re not, we’d really like to hear from you. Please get involved and tell us what you think the future of health and care should look like.”