Burnham-On-Sea residents are being asked about the kind of health and care service they’d like to see in the future.

Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Somerset County Council have announced a series of public drop-in sessions across the county, including one in the Burnham area, to hear from local people.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, clinical lead and director of the ‘Fit for my Future’ programme, is hoping as many people as possible will visit the drop-ins to share their experience of health and care services, and what might be done to make them better in the future.

A local consultation event will be held at Berrow Village Hall on Monday 15th October from 3pm – 6.30pm when all will be welcome.

Dr Rosie said: “We really do want to hear what local people think. We all have a stake in health and care services and it’s important we all work together to shape the best fit for the future so come along to a drop-in event near you! I look forward to seeing lots of people over the coming weeks.”

Clinicians, commissioners of services and health and care professionals are working together to get a better understanding of how they can make best use of resources – money and people – to achieve the biggest possible impact on the health and quality of life of people in Somerset.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth says it’s a big challenge, but she believes everyone should be given the opportunity to liver healthier, independent lives for longer. She said: “Of course, money is tight. Neither health nor local government has a never-ending pot of funds, but we can make better use of what we do have. If the different parts of our health and care system work more closely together, I think we’ll see some big rewards.”

She continued: “Over the last two or three years people have told us they want to see care centred around communities, and agencies working together with the needs of the individual at the heart. A person’s own bed is the best bed, so keeping people in hospital for the shortest possible time or treating them earlier in the community so they don’t have to go there at all is better for them – it means there’s less risk of losing their independence and they’re close to family and friends.”

Supporting and encouraging people to stay well in the first place, preventing illness, is at the heart of the Fit for my Future programme.

Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, Trudi Grant, has been closely scrutinising all the work so far to make sure every opportunity is taken to reinforce and support better health and wellbeing.

She said: “The way people live – smoking, alcohol, diet, exercise and social isolation – has a huge impact on their health and wellbeing. Across the health and care system we’re seeing services already struggling to meet demand. We know that by encouraging and helping people to stay healthy, we can extend and improve the quality of their lives. By reducing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and low level mental health problems, we can make sure stretched resources in health and care services are there when people have more urgent needs.”

For more information about the programme or to see where your nearest drop-in event is taking place, please click www.fitformyfuture.org.uk