Pharmacy, Optical and Hearing organisations attend landmark meeting to improve local health outcomes

4 March 2015

•    Leaders in Ealing held a meeting to discuss health and social care in the borough, the NHS  Five Year Forward View and how local services might be reshaped to meet the needs of an ageing population – including supporting more people out-of-hospital and in the community.
•    Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing, Southall and Health Select Committee member and Cllr Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council and chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board hosted the meeting so that all stakeholders could share knowledge and continue to improve local services.

Pharmacy, optical and hearing organisations attended a landmark meeting in Ealing on 18th February with the local council, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Health and Wellbeing board (HWB). The meeting helped to demonstrate the how the needs of the residents of West London can best be met and pressures on GPs and hospitals reduced by close working and support from the wider primary care network.

Representatives from Pharmacy Voice, the Local Optical Committee Support Unit and the National Community Hearing Association were able to present opportunities where they could best provide services to improve the care of people living in Ealing.  Members of the CCG and HWB were able to share their strategies for improvement in self-care, supporting people living with long term conditions and living well for longer. Providers and commissioners both agreed and supported new ways of working as set out in the Five Year Forward View and the progress already taking place with the Whole Systems Integrated Care Programme

The collaborative approach to designing services was welcomed by all stakeholders and it was agreed everybody would continue to work together and meet again later in 2015.

Virendra Sharma MP commented: “The integration of health and social care which spans across both pharmacy’s and optician’s work is key to improving outcomes. If the agreements which were made at this meeting come to pass we will have significantly improved services for Ealing residents. I hope that when we meet in six months we can promise even more, and I will be discussing this with all the stakeholders over the coming months.”

Cllr Julian Bell – leader of Ealing Council and chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board commented: “It is extremely important that our residents receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place and by the right person.  Optometrists, opticians, pharmacists and hearing care providers, alongside NHS and council officers, all play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of our residents. I’m therefore delighted that providers and commissioners have agreed and supported these new ways of working.  It is by fostering a more joined-up approach that we will help and encourage people to lead healthier, more active lives for longer.”

Hiten Patel, Pharmacy Voice Board member and owner of Mattock Lane Pharmacy, Ealing commented:
“Having a meeting of this nature is a big step forward to improving health outcomes for people in Ealing. I think we all agree that some great healthcare happens locally but too often it is not joined-up. If we can co-ordinate more services, offering the right care in the right place patients will benefit. For example a minor ailments scheme is launching in Ealing this April which allows pharmacies to deal with common problems such as conjunctivitis and coughs that clog up GP waiting rooms. If we want to change peoples’ behaviour and benefit from the scheme, all our local services need to be aware of it and support it. We also need to make sure that pharmacy is supported to tackle some of the big key public health issues we face locally such as diabetes and obesity.”

Piers Cooper, NCHA Local Audiology Lead commented:
“Tackling hearing loss is a major public health challenge for older people and getting this wrong at local level can have disastrous consequences for individuals, families and communities. Working together now in Ealing will allow us to meet hearing needs in a sustainable way for the future and deliver the benefits of Five Year Forward View for the local people.”

Katrina Venerus, LOCSU MD, commented:
“The event provided an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the wider role optometrists, opticians, pharmacists and hearing care providers can play in supporting the delivery of more services in primary care. LOCSU and Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Local Optical Committee look forward to working more closely with partners across Ealing to help deliver local outcomes for patients as part of the Five Year Forward View.”


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