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Dorset NHS aims to improve services

Dorset’s NHS has announced that it will undergo a review of local services to make high quality and affordable care more accessible. 

The Case for Change argues that a serious transformation is needed in the services provided in order to adapt to the rising costs and demands for better healthcare.

Dr Forbes Watson, Chair of Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GP, said: “We need to ensure that everybody has access to the best standards of care, in the most affordable way.”

Hospitals need to be better staffed to combat the amount of people that need to be treated.

The increasing life expectancy of the UK poses problems of caring for an ageing population for the NHS.

Dorset is more affected than other counties due to its higher population of people over the age of 70.

This is expected to rise by almost a third by 2023, a study shows.

The report was encouraged to go ahead after the NHS Clinical Services Review predicted a shortfall between the income received and rising costs of between £167-200 million in the next five years.

Dr Simon Watkins, clinical lead in the report, said: “We currently have three quarters of a million people living in Dorset, and it is predicted that by 2020 that will increase by another 50,000.”

The CCG has been talking to doctors, nurses, other clinicians and health and social care leaders to acquire evidence as to how performance in these services are currently doing.

“This gathering of evidence in the Case for Change campaign is the first step on our journey to design a sustainable health system for Dorset in the long term,” said Dr Forbes Watson.

The study found that the population of Dorset generally have better health when compared to the national average, due to low smoking and child obesity rates.

However, the region suffers with a higher number of people with heart disease and diabetes, which is also expected to grow faster in Dorset than in other regions in England.

By 2020, around one in ten of the people in the county are predicted to suffer from diabetes.

As well as 1 in 8 people likely to experience coronary heart disease due to the higher elderly population in the county according to the NHS, these statistics raise concrens for Dorset’s NHS.

“If we don’t do anything, then we are looking at having a deficit of over £160 million,” said Dr Watkins. “Doing nothing is not an option.”