HEALTH care services in Bolton must change if they are to cope with growing demand, GPs said at a town hall NHS summit.

More 140 people from across the borough gathered at the Changing Our NHS Together event at the Festival Hall in Bolton Town Hall to thrash out ideas on how to maintain high quality health services with diminishing resources.

Access to GP services was top of the agenda as well as hospital and community care during the day’s presentations and group debates.

Although the CCG is not being affected by government cuts, funding has not increased.

Yet because of inflation, the increased cost of healthcare and services plus a growing and ageing population, the CCG must “prioritise services”, the meeting heard.

The new integrated healthcare model — which will see hospital services shifted into the community — will be a major part of the redesign.

Annette Walker, Chief Finance Officer at the CCG, told the group on Saturday: “At the moment we spend the majority of our budget on hospital-based services and less on prevention.

“We want to change this to support people to look after themselves in their own homes.”

Dr Colin Mercer, clinical director governance and safety at the CCG, went on to describe the increased demand since the NHS was founded in 1948.

Dr Mercer said: “The NHS was founded in 1948 and the CCG is still committed to those principles.

“The fact that patients can still see their GP or access hospital services for free when they need them — the CCG is still committed to that principle.

“However things have changed. In 1948, there were half a million 999 calls made in the UK. Now, there one million 999 calls just in the North West expected this year.”

One of the exercises focussed on what patients wanted from GP services with each group being asked to think about surgeries as a type of shop and the sort they would like — some suggested Waitrose as an ideal model for a GP surgery, while some suggested a local corner shop for its personal and convenient aspects.

The need for more nurses in GP surgeries and to see the same GP every visit were also raised as priorities by the groups.

Dr Stephen Liversedge, clinical director for primary care and health improvement at the CCG, was also present and addressed GPs.



  • Half a million calls in whole of UK
  • People went into hospital for fractures or injury.
  • Smallpox, scarlet fever and measles were common diseases
  • No drugs for high blood pressure
  • Some 12,866 prescriptions issued in the whole of Lancashire during the first year of the NHS


  • One million 999 calls in the North West
  • Most people go into hospital due to heart disease or stroke
  • Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma and mental health more common
  • There are more than 50 medications for high blood pressure
  • Some 5,730,831 prescriptions issued in Bolton last year