REPRESENTATIVES from organisations in Lyme Regis, Seaton and Axminster have been working to improve health and wellbeing services in the local area.
Axminster Health Needs, LymeForward and Seaton Area Health Matters met on July 19 to progress their work for improved healthcare.
Members agreed that the area they will focus on will be defined by residents who are registered with GP practices in Axminster, Seaton, Lyme Regis and Charmouth.
As a result, this is wider than the original ‘Axe Valley’ concept, and will give the group more traction with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) of Devon and Dorset, as they will be representing a combined total of 42,000 patients registered with the four practices.
As the next step, those involved are now planning a joint meeting with the respective chairs of the two CCGs to discuss their vision, as the recent meeting demonstrated many shared concerns and ideas for improvement.
For example, the Seaton Area Health Matters group have produced a detailed business plan regarding Seaton Hospital that has received an encouraging response to date from the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, NHS Devon CCG and NHS Property Services.
Jack Rowland, who chairs Seaton Area Health Matters, as well as being a Seaton town councillor and East Devon district councillor, chaired the latest meeting and welcomed the collaborative approach being taken by all the representatives from Axminster, Lyme Regis and Seaton, as it is obvious that the same issues affect residents in our part of East Devon and West Dorset.
Ian Hall, county councillor for the Axminster Division, commented: “We have been working within the Axminster Health Needs Group for some considerable time now and we are incredibly pleased that this joined up and pragmatic approach has been welcomed by all in the Seaton, Lyme, Charmouth and of course the Axminster areas.
“We will continue to work with all the stakeholders needed from primary care, the voluntary, community and social sector through to the CCGs of both Devon and Dorset as we all need to work together to have a truly engaging and sustainable outcome for everyone’s health and wellbeing in our beautiful part of rural England.”
Ken Lavery, of LymeForward’s Health & Wellbeing Group, added: “The LymeForward Health and Wellbeing Group welcomes any initiative that improves access to quality health care for the residents of Lyme Regis, Uplyme and Charmouth. That is what we have always said that boundary issues are an unnecessary block.”