More than 80 people, including Amanda Bloor, chief operating officer of the new NHS Integrated Care Board, and Simon Morritt, chief executive of York and Scarborough Hospitals, attended the event.
Key areas discussed at the meeting included GP services, outpatient care and surgery, urgent care at Bridlington Hospital and End of Life care and support for relatives.
Bridlington Health Forum chair, Dr Anthony Clarke, said: “The conference successfully illustrated growing gaps in healthcare provision within the Bridlington area to all local care providers.
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“We are pleased those senior representatives of all the NHS organisations that can make a difference heard, first-hand, of increasing healthcare problems.
“Some were genuinely shocked by what they heard. I am grateful to the guest patient speakers who shared sad and harrowing personal experiences of the stretched and at times failing services within our town. Elderly and other members of our community who cannot drive are particularly disadvantaged by the lack of adequate facilities at Bridlington Hospital.”
Healthcare providers were asked to act and improve the services by:
○ Recruiting and retaining staff in Bridlington
○ Renewing communications with the public
○ Restoring specific lost services at the hospital and improving others
○ Rebuilding the trust of the public
Dr Clark added: “Working in focus groups, key actions were agreed to take forward to the brand-new Integrated Care Board which met for the first time on Friday (July 1).
“There can be absolutely no doubt that high level NHS managers have now understood and acknowledged the inequality of healthcare provision suffered by residents locally.
“Our NHS Integrated Care System (ICS) is now aware of the urgent need to improve access to quality healthcare in Bridlington and the need for new initiatives to improve our health.
“The Forum aspires to maintain the ICS’ focus on Bridlington, to improve local diagnostic, frailty, rehabilitative and end-of-life services. Making much better use of our under-used hospital is essential.
“The challenge of travel to distant hospitals was a recurring theme throughout the conference.
“Local people currently need to travel over 1½ million miles a year to and from outpatient appointments at distant hospitals. Appointments have deliberately been centralised away from Bridlington and this trend must be reversed.
“Bridlington Health Forum aspires to hold the ICS to account through further meetings. New acknowledgment of the deficiencies in local services must lead to the development of specific improvement action plans for Bridlington.
“The Forum’s role is to offer listening ears and a voice to Bridlington area residents who are concerned about local health care provision.
“Working with Healthwatch East Riding, we promise to act on your concerns if you share them with us.”
People can find out more about the Bridlington Health Forum at [email protected], join the Facebook group at tinyurl.com/2p8vjuet, or or attend the next meeting and Thursday, July 21 (3pm) at the Crown Buildings on Quay Road.