Why community health services can make a real difference

Christmas is a family time and, as we look ahead to another year, nothing is more important than the continued health of ourselves and our loved ones. Having high quality health services is vital, and the more services are located in the community the better.

Caterham Dene is a fantastic example of what this community model should look like. It is not just about having a Minor Injuries Unit which sees more than 800 patients per month, easing pressure at East Surrey Hospital and saving residents a longer journey. It is also about providing compassionate care within the community, whether it is the care of the elderly or the childrens services that so many families rely on.

Demographic changes make these services more important than ever before. It is staggering to consider that in just seven years time there will be more people aged 85+ than 65-85 in Surrey. This has enormous implications for a whole range of services, but to provide effective care and reduce the pressure on our hospitals, it is clear that we will need to deliver as much care as close to home as possible.

That is why we need to ensure community health services receive the financial support they need to expand and continue to deliver for local residents. Having had first hand experience of the support Caterham Dene provides and been thoroughly impressed by all the staff and management, I will be doing everything I can to ensure the vital service continues to be there for our community.

Photo: heralding the festive season with carols at Caterham Dene Community Hospital.