Concerns voiced over ‘confusing’ NHS

The NHS is 70 this week.
The NHS is 70 this week.

The need for health bosses in Northumberland to give ordinary people a clearer picture of the services on offer and how and where to access them has been raised with the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

At the annual public meeting of the CCG at County Hall last week, several members of the public voiced concern that the NHS is so bureaucratic and confusing that people feel confused at best and fobbed off at worst.

Among the criticisms were a lack of engagement with the public and the need for the health authorities to get their messages out in traditional media, like newspapers, radio and TV, more because many in the county do not access information through social media or websites.

Siobhan Brown, the chief operating officer of the CCG board, said: “We hear people’s concerns and we are looking at a high-profile campaign to explain how everything fits together in as simple and as clear way as possible.

“We do need to use the power of the media to get the message through.”

Vanessa Bainbridge, accountable officer of the CCG on the board added: “I think there is a recognition that there needs to be more paper-based advertising and the use of word-of-mouth communication, etc, to spread the word as effectively as we can.

“Several public forums were held over the year, which were successful at getting messages across but we appreciate that each forum only reaches a limited number of people.”

Graeme Anderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service