That was one of the main messages coming out of yesterday’s Integrate, Collaborate, Influence – Health and Social Care conference in Aylesbury. The event was organised by Healthwatch Bucks and Community Impact Bucks for voluntary and community organisations which provide care services in Buckinghamshire.

The charities responded positively to the address by Lesley Perkin, Bucks County Council’s Programme Director for Integrated Care, who explained how the Council is working with the doctors’ groups, hospitals and care providers to provide more joined up care that is centred on the needs of each individual.

It became clear from the discussions which followed that Bucks’ charities are well equipped to help the doctors’ Clinical Commissioning Groups to save money and provide more effective care for some patients. However, most charities said doctors were rarely able to give time to charities to show how they could help

Healthwatch Bucks promised to organise meetings between the voluntary and community organisation and the doctors’ groups to enable a better understanding of how the charities could reduce doctors’ workload and make better use of their budgets.

During the meeting, the chief executive of Healthwatch Bucks reported on the good progress the organisation has made since its formation in April last year and gave examples of how Healthwatch was working closely with charities on projects to ensure that decision-makers hear about the experiences and opinions of everyone in the county – including those whose views are not often heard.

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