In the 2018, the Future Fit consultation set out the very real challenges we face as a hospital trust, and wider health and care system. The COVID-19 pandemic, and especially the pressures we face each Winter, have shown that we need to make these changes as quickly as possible to deliver the best care possible for patients.
• Our emergency patients experience delays in accessing the right specialist teams when they attend A&E, as our specialist teams work across two hospital sites but there are different types of service provided at each. Often patients have to be transferred between hospitals because we do not have the right clinical teams and services working alongside each other. Some of our specialist inpatient services are already only delivered from just one of our hospital sites, for example cardiology, emergency adult abdominal surgery, head and neck and stroke services
• Many patients attending our A&Es need urgent care that can be delivered more effectively
• Our hospitals were not built for delivering modern day healthcare. Our Emergency Departments in particular are small and cramped
• Our patients currently face significant ambulance handover delays and delays in accessing the clinical services that they need (emergency, urgent and planned care). Delays have many causes but our overly complex model of care with inadequate provision worsens the problem
• Our two small intensive care units are difficult to staff with specialist intensive care doctors 24/7
• Many of our patients booked for planned care (surgery) have this cancelled as our two hospitals accept both emergency and planned care patients and essentially compete for the resource
• We need to separate planned and emergency care to ensure there is no competition for beds and we can deliver the best of both services
• Services on both sites need to be more resilient to seasonal demand pressures and future pandemics
• We do not have enough doctors, nurses and other professionals to cover duplicated services delivering seven-day services.
We are committed to delivering two thriving hospitals, maximising our clinical services, specialist staff and space (estates) at both sites.
By separating planned care and emergency care we can deliver better care for local people and a healthier and more attractive work environment for our staff.
We’ve have a significant additional investment in services which will help us deliver these much-needed changes and we need to use this funding in the best possible way.