Welcome to the first of what will be regular briefings on Worcestershire Joint Services Review.
Clinicians embark on hospital services review
The four broad areas of healthcare that will be looked at as part of Worcestershire NHS’ Joint Services Review (JSR) have been announced.
Clinical Working Groups made up of GPs, consultants, nurses, therapists and health and social care staff are looking at hospital services in the following areas and developing a number of possible options for how they may be delivered in the future:
Elderly Care (includes all hospital services providing care to the elderly)
Women and Children’s Services (includes gynaecology, paediatrics, and maternity services, including related emergency services)
Planned care (includes planned admissions, day case and outpatients)
Emergency care (includes A&E and emergency admissions)
The first meeting took place on March 15 and allowed the teams to outline the strengths and weaknesses of the services that are currently being delivered across the county, and outline what their aspirations are for how their services are delivered in the future.
There was also a chance to look in more detail at how our current services compare to others across the country, in order to start developing the clinical case for why services in Worcestershire need to change.
The aim is to make sure that patients receive high quality services that are affordable and sustainable in the long term. Funding available for NHS services over the coming years will not be enough to keep up with the growing demand for services brought about by an ageing population. This means that if we carry on providing services in the way we do at the moment, Worcestershire’s acute hospitals are facing a £45 million shortfall in funding over the next three years. We know from evidence elsewhere that by providing hospital services in a different way, it is possible to increase quality and safety and, at the same time, do so more efficiently.
On March 29, the clinicians will looking more closely at ‘best practice’ evidence from other health trusts around the country – for example, they will look at which hospital services are the best performing in terms of providing the best clinical outcomes for their patients, and why this is the case.
This information will be used to inform the development of a long list of lots of options for how and where Worcestershire hospital services might be delivered in the future to ensure that ours are comparable to the best services elsewhere.
At the third meeting on April 19 the clinicians will start to refine their long list of options based on safety, quality and how affordable and sustainable they would be in the long term.
Early discussions will also start to take place as to how these preferred options would be delivered across Worcestershire if they were supported by stakeholders and the public following the formal consultation period later in the year.
Focus groups made up of patient and public representatives are being established to mirror the four Clinical Working Group areas and will meet twice over the next month. They will look at how we should fine tune our engagement with the public, as well as comment on any emerging options from the working groups.
Further information on the Joint Services Review, including video interviews with some of the key clinicians involved, is available on the website at www.worcestershirehealth.nhs.uk/joint-services-review. There are also forums set up to enable staff and the public to have their say on the review.
Further information from the Clinical Working Group meetings will be made available on the website over the coming days and weeks.