Making health and social care services work better, for everyone

More money should be invested in recruiting Clinical Staff in Warwickshire – that’s the view of former cancer patient Susan Jenkins.

72-year-old Susan, from Leamington Spa, is sharing her views and encouraging others to speak out as part of ‘What Would You do?’, led by independent health and social care champion Healthwatch Warwickshire.

Launched this month, ‘What would you do?’ aims to encourage people in the county to share their views about how extra money from the Government should be spent on local NHS services.

The Government is investing £20 billion a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Local organisations are now being asked to explore how services should change locally to make the NHS work better for people.

Retired bio-chemist Susan, who is also on several local breast cancer support groups, said: “We have a huge shortage of Clinical oncologists in the area and the West Midlands has one of the lowest levels of oncologists per head of the population in England.

“I would like to see the NHS spend more money on recruiting staff. The NHS does a wonderful job but there’s just not enough of them out there.”

Susan has had plenty of first-hand experience with health services in Warwickshire after being diagnosed 12 years ago with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy and has since been cancer free.

Her experience led her to volunteer with several support groups and Healthwatch Warwickshire to ensure patients have a voice in their care.

Susan continued: “By talking and listening to people who have been ill – you get fantastic knowledge and feedback about health services, which we will all have to use at some stage in our lives.

“Patients are the experts, each and every one of them has a story to share – whether that’s good or bad. I would encourage others to take part in this survey on how the NHS Long Term Plan should be implemented in Warwickshire and make sure their voice is heard.”

People can share their views via an online survey, and by speaking directly to Healthwatch Warwickshire.

Chris Bain, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Warwickshire, added: “The NHS only works when the voices of the people who use it are heard. This is a once in a generation chance for local people to help decide where this extra money from Government should be spent in our NHS services in Warwickshire.

“We want to hear from as many people as possible about what works, what doesn’t and how they think local health services should be improved. No matter how big or small the issue, we want to hear about it. Sharing your experience with us is quick and easy – and could make a big difference.”

People can also share their views in an online survey, visit https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/what-would-you-do