MORE than 200 health workers, patients and members of the public packed Bridgwater's Canalside Centre last week, as part of a nationwide consultation on the future of the NHS.

The scheme - titled Our NHS Our Future - led by top surgeon Lord Ara Darzi from the Ministry of Health, is intended to get to the heart of issues surrounding the NHS, with the opinions of the community and employees key to future planning.

The conference was conducted simultaneously with nine other locations around the country, with a live video link through which ideas and viewpoints could be communicated instantly between districts.

Lord Darzi said: "This review is all about engaging with patients, public and staff to shape the NHS for the 21st century. I am determined that this will be developed and owned by patients, public and staff together.

"We have challenged everyone to identify the right local solutions for improving the NHS in their region. I expect this work to be clinically led, patient centred and locally accountable."

As part of the programme, Lord Darzi would like to hear from as many people as possible with their opinions on the NHS - both staff and members of the public are invited to take part in an online questionnaire at