Sheffield residents discuss pressures on health provisions in city centre

Residents have held a meeting to discuss current issues concerning public health provisions in Sheffield city centre.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 1:08 pm
The NHS walk-in centre on Broad Lane in Sheffield city centre.

Members of Changing Sheff – formerly known as SCCRAG – invited representatives from the Sheffield Clinical Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to attend the seminar on May 14, in hopes of discussing their concerns surrounding both mental health and medical services. 

On the agenda was the future of the minor injuries unit at the Hallamshire Hospital and the NHS walk-in centre on Broad Lane, which had been earmarked for closure in controversial plans to shake up urgent care facilities in the city centre.

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However, a consultation on the proposal saw thousands of responses from members of the public and petition to save the services with the CCG later recommending the plans be put on hold for a further two years while they consider other options.

The CCG revealed the plans will be extended until 2021. 

But, with discussions currently on the table, health bosses declined to attend the meeting, stating they were not ready to go through the information regarding the care facilities. 

The residents instead were asked to put some of their concerns to the CCG through email.

In reply, Karen Shaw from the Sheffield CCG, said: “The CCG wants people who have an urgent care need to access the right care, at the right time and in the right place every time. There are big challenges with a shortage of staff, rising demands, pressures on A&E and GPs, and big health inequalities in Sheffield.”

“We have recently finished a massive engagement exercise to identifying what the problems are. We are working on collating all the responses.

“Once we have done this, we will then work together with partners and public in an open and transparent way, to work out how we address those problems.”

The CCG are currently reviewing urgent care services in consultation with partners, staff, patients and the public and said there will be no major change to services this year.

When asked about the plan for GP care to cater for an increase in city centre population, she said: “The CCG has a comprehensive Primary Care Estates Strategy.

“The CCG’s Primary Care lead for Estates is working with an Estates Consultant and linking in with Local Authority planning colleagues to understand the Sheffield plan for current and future development across the city.

“The aim of the collaborative approach is to assess what impact any increases in city centre dwellings / population will have on Primary Care services in the future.

”There are also practices within the city centre that have applied for additional grants through the Estates, Technology, Transformation Funding (ETTF) in response to increasing population need.”

Representatives from multiple organisations working across the city, including those from Devonshire Green Medical Practice, the Cathedral Archer Project and the Sheffield Street Outreach Team were among those who did attend the meeting.

In an open discussion, they addressed concerns from residents about homelessness in the city centre and the access that people have to mental health services, recognising the work that is already been done to help those living on the streets.