People across Devon helped shape the future for health and care in the county by sharing their views as part of a major engagement programme last summer.

Devon is developing a local version of the national NHS Long Term Plan, called Better for you, Better for Devon. The plan will make sure we are fit for the future, providing high-quality care and better health outcomes for people and their families, through every stage of life.

In Devon, we ran an eight-week period of engagement (from 11 July to 5 September 2019) to develop our own Long Term Plan, Better for You, Better for Devon. The plan will focus on improving people’s health and mental health, and supporting people to stay well.

The challenges we face

Part of the conversation centred on the big challenges we face, as these will influence the future of health and care:10

  • Medical advances mean people are living longer – something we celebrate. But people now often live with multiple illnesses, such as cancer, heart problems and type 2 diabetes. We need to ensure services can provide what they need
  • Preventable illnesses like type 2 diabetes are increasing, and the amount of time people live in good health has been decreasing since 2012
  • Vital health and care jobs remain unfilled – 1 in 10 nurse jobs and 1 in 12 social worker posts in Devon remain vacant as demand for services increase. There is a shortage of people to undertake these roles
  • There have been increases in NHS funding, but peoples’ needs for services are growing faster
  • Devon’s population is growing and is expected to rise by about 33,000 people – equivalent to the population of Exmouth – over the next five years.

Building on previous work

Better for You, Better for Devon builds on work we have previously done and will focus on real changes to how we support people.

This will see us strengthening prevention to support people to live healthier lives, supporting GP and community services to intervene early to support local people, enhancing services to help children, young people and adults needing mental health support, and having high-quality, efficient hospital services in the right place when people need them.

We will work more closely with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, charities and the broader social care sector to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

How we are involving local people

To ensure we obtained detailed feedback, the majority of the engagement exercises were delivered by local councils and NHS organisations, and based on local priorities. This involved focus groups, face-to-face discussions and surveys.

County-wide engagement also took place with 1,700 members of the public of our Virtual Voices Panel, surveys of GP practice participation groups (PPGs) and phone questionnaires with patients.

Engagement report

Read the engagement report.

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