A SERIES of events are being planned in Weymouth, Dorchester and Bridport for members of the public to help shape the future of local healthcare services.

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is publicly launching its strategic plan for the next few years at an open day on Saturday, which runs from 2pm to 5pm at the Dorchester hospital.

The plan centres around bringing hospital and community services together under a single ‘healthcare hub’ to improve access to patients.

Visitors to the open day will be able to give feedback on the plans and there are a series of further events planned in the coming weeks for the community to have their say.

The events will be led by clinicians and start on Monday, October 13 at the Children’s Centre at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester from 5pm to 7pm.

A further session at the same venue is being held from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday, October 22 before an event at Bridport Town Hall on Monday, November 3 from 2pm to 4pm.

The final session will be at the Weymouth Pavilion Ocean Room from 2pm to 4pm on Monday, November 10.

Dorset County Hospital’s new chief executive Patricia Miller said she hoped as many local people as possible would attend the events.

She said: “We want to simplify the health system for local people so that their care is delivered at the right place at the right time.

“Our plan is to join up hospital and community services so that patients can access all the services they need without the need for multiple referrals to different organisations.

“We want to co-ordinate services so that patients are looked after by the same team throughout their treatment in a setting that suits them, be that their own home or in hospital.”

Mrs Miller added: “There is recognition at a national level in the NHS that this ‘integrated’ approach provides a much better service to patients.

“What we need now is input from our local community to make sure we get our system right so it works best for local people’s needs.

“It’s often simple things which can make a big difference and we want to capture as many ideas as we can to feed into the detail of our plan.

“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to outline our plan in greater detail and listen to what local people have to say.”

There is no need to book a place at these events but anyone who would like more information can call the hospital’s communications team on 01305254683 or email communications@dchft.nhs.uk