HEALTHCARE bosses aim to put patients' views at the heart of the future of community services.
The South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group wants to hear the thoughts of local people about how community services, including community hospitals, can be delivered in the future.
Each locality — moor to sea, coastal, Newton Abbot, Torquay, Paignton and Brixham — is setting up a group to ensure residents have a say about types of services which should be provided locally.
Dr Sam Barrell, chief clinical officer at the CCG, said: "The engagement will be looking at all community services, including community hospitals.
"By setting up the steering groups, this is a fresh approach towards planning our community services in the long term.
"We understand the needs of people will vary from locality to locality. Within the economic constraints and population changes we're all facing at the moment, we know we need to work at a local level to get services right. That way we'll ensure we have a strong basis on which to build for the future."
The groups will include GPs, patient group representatives, county and district council officers, league of friends representatives and Healthwatch members.
The creation of the steering groups comes after South Devon and Torbay CCG recently hosted three public events — in Harbertonford, Torquay and Newton Abbot.
Dr Barrell said engagement forums such as these are part of the CCG's aim to make the organisation as accessible as possible.