This is a transcript of my My View column that was published in the Doncaster Star on Monday 11 December, 2017
December is a busy month for the NHS in Doncaster and there are three important public events taking place in the borough which I would like to draw your attention to. One is a celebration event and the other two are examples of how we are trying to involve people in the work of the NHS.
On Tuesday 12 December, the health bus will bring our Be Winter Wise roadshow to Mexborough Market Place from 9am to 4pm , where you can pop in and pick up lots of information and advice about staying well through the chilly winter months.
Karl Roberts and Emma Serfozo – pictured above – from our CCG have put together a special pack of leaflets that cover everything from how to avoid a fall to the importance of staying warm as the temperatures drop.
They have already given out lots of the packs as the roadshow’s visits to Doncaster town centre and Lakeside shopping centre last week.
Thursday 14 December sees our annual Carol Service at Doncaster Minster, which is jointly organised by the three local NHS organisations. It starts at 5pm, lasts around one hour, and offers an open invite to everyone whose life has been touched by the NHS to attend. So that literally means everybody, as we all come into contact with the NHS at some time.
I gave a reading last year and really enjoyed the service. It really conveyed the spirit of Christmas in the impressive setting of the Minster. This year my CCG colleague Dr Lindsey Britten, a GP at Denaby, will be taking part along with other NHS staff and music from the excellent Doncaster Concert Band.
Finally, on Tuesday 19 December, we have arranged a public drop-in session at Mexborough Library to gather local people’s thoughts on a review of five hospital services, which was announced recently.
The five services that are being looked at are: poorly children who need hospital care; pregnant women and mother and baby; stroke; urgent and emergency care; and stomach and intestines conditions, including investigations.
The review involves hospitals across South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and Chesterfield, including Doncaster Royal Infirmary. The aim is to look at what needs to happen to safeguard the services for the future in light of the current financial and other challenges that currently face the NHS, including a rising demand for services and staff recruitment and retention issues.
It will not look at closing any general hospitals across South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and Chesterfield but will try and identify new ways of working that will have the added benefit of helping to recruit and retain the staff we need to provide quality services.
The library drop-in session will take place from 10am to 1pm, but if you would like more detailed information we have organised a presentation by Medical Director Des Breen and Programme Director Alexandra Norrish at 1.30pm, followed by a questions and answers session.