Proposals published for public consultation

31/01/13

The NHS in Gloucestershire has today described a number of proposals for specialist hospital services with the aim of providing high quality, safe services in to the future.

The proposals have been developed by clinicians and managers.

Clinicians and managers want to ensure that patients can access the full range of specialist skills and services when they need them most and make best use of the resources and expertise available.

The consultation booklet called: ‘Your NHS: Right Care, Right Time, Right Place – Maintaining high quality, specialist services’, sets out proposals for:

  • Emergency and urgent medical care
  • Some medical specialties - *Gastroenterology and hepatology, Cardiology and Respiratory medicine and;
  • Paediatric (child) day cases.

Clinicians and managers believe that the proposed changes will result in a number of benefits including:

  • Bringing certain specialist staff together and reducing the risk to patients by having robust medical cover at all times
  • Ensuring early assessment for patients and decision making about their treatment and onward hospital care
  • Improving the links between related services to improve the patient experience and make services more joined up
  • Clinicians seeing enough patients to maintain their skills
  • Ensuring consistency of care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The NHS in Gloucestershire will now talk to patients, carers and community partners about the proposal and listen to views.

The latest listening exercise on these proposals follows the first ‘Your NHS’ conversations with staff, patients, carers and community partners in 2010 and 2011, which included proposals for stroke care, emergency paediatric assessment, major trauma services and first outpatient breast care appointments for symptomatic patients.  

Gloucestershire has a long history of successful site and service changes for specialist hospital services and the consultation booklet shows the distribution of services across both hospital sites.

The NHS in Gloucestershire remains committed to two vibrant district general hospitals in the county.        

Medical Director at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Sean Elyan said: “When people need specialist hospital services, we need to make sure they are organised in a way that will ensure quality of care, safety of patients and make best use of the resources and expertise available. This is our guiding principle in developing proposals for change.”

Commenting on the proposal for emergency and urgent medical care, Emergency Medicine (A&E) Consultant, Dr Tom Llewellyn said: “Clinicians have been discussing how best to overcome the challenges we face and how to make best use of the specialist staff and skills available.”

“We believe that this proposal, which relates to emergency care at night time, will help us to provide safe, timely services to the people of Gloucestershire, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

“The proposal strikes the right balance between providing excellent specialist clinical care in an emergency and maintaining local access to services whenever possible.”

Commenting on the proposal for paediatric day cases, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Miles Wagstaff said: “There is a shortage of specialist doctors and nurses to care for children and bringing together the day case services will ensure we have a sustainable model for the future. 

“It will deliver consistent quality of care for all children and their families wherever they live in the county in new purpose built facilities.”

Deputy Clinical Chair of Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, Dr Andy Seymour said: “We believe that these proposals have been well thought through. They have been developed with a priority on safety and the needs of the patient and they will help to address the challenges facing the NHS.

“We would urge local people to read the proposals carefully and share their views.”    

The full engagement booklet and the short guide version setting out the proposals are now available.

People can access these booklets (with feedback form), both called: ‘Your NHS – Right Care, Right Time, Right Place – Maintaining high quality, specialist services’ at: www.nhsglos.nhs.uk or by calling Freephone: 0800 015 1548. They will also be available from GP surgeries, pharmacies, libraries, hospitals and council buildings.

The NHS in Gloucestershire will be holding a series of public drop in events across the county during the 12 week engagement period and information will be available on the website. 

*Notes

Gastroenterology and hepatology - care of patients with problems with their digestive system and/or liver

Cardiology - care of patients with heart problems

Respiratory (or thoracic) medicine - care of patients with breathing and lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), commonly referred to as emphysema.