Last chance to have your say on how the NHS should spend extra funding on health services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

People keen to influence the future of the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being encouraged to make their views known this weekend.

The ‘What Would You do?’ campaign was launched in March to encourage people in the city and counties to share their views on how extra money from the Government should be spent on local NHS services. People can share their views through an online survey but only have until Monday 13 May, when the survey closes.

One of the common themes from feedback received so far has been around mental health services.

Joanne*, from Dane Hills said: “There is a lack of mental health services in the area. When services are being set up, the people that they will be there to support should be consulted so that the services are tailored to them. We need organisations to work together - this is currently a serious problem. There is no support for older people on the Autistic spectrum and all surveys on the subject seem to target young people.”

Bev* from Coalville added: I have had several health issues in the past few years. I never feel that the GP listens to me or has time for me. I have had depression in the past and at times I wanted to say to the GP I need help, I am struggling/fed up etc, but it is obvious they are just not interested.”

Others have said they would like to see medical staff have a human touch when it comes to healthcare. Tom* from Loughborough said: “Health care professionals need to be kind and caring. They need to tell people like me that it’s OK not to be OK. To give someone a hug, or a few kind words spoken sincerely, can be the best tablet ever. Or to have the doctor or your counsellor book you another appointment and not rush you.

“People should write things down through the day about what is bothering them so that they can show it to the doctor, in case they forget. Professionals should reassure people and tell them ‘I’m always here for you and you’re going to get there’. People should be told they’re doing so well and not to worry if they have a bit of a wobble because that’s what happens, but they will improve, and they will get there – trust me.”

Micheal Smith, Healthwatch Leicester and Healthwatch Leicestershire Manager, said: “We know that the NHS only works when people’s voices are heard. This is a once in a generation chance for local people to help decide where this extra money from Government should be spent in our NHS services in Leicester. “We want to hear from as many people, groups and communities as possible to ensure the local plans reflect the needs of our population. We want to hear about what works, what doesn’t and how people think local health services should be improved. No matter how big or small the issue, we want to hear about it. Sharing your experience with us is quick and easy - and could make a big difference.”

People can share their views in an online survey: http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/tell-us-whatwould-you-do