Welcome to the fourth update on the Worcestershire Joint Services Review.
In this newsletter you can find out how discussions are focussing on clinical models which could provide high quality, safe and affordable hospital services into the future. A series of events and focus groups have been arranged so that you can have your say and you are invited to attend. Places are limited so please book early.
Progress so far
Over the last few weeks, clinicians have been discussing the outcomes of the four Clinical Working Groups and their suggestions for providing high quality services for emergency care, planned care, elderly care and women and children’s care. The suggestions from the four groups are being collated into a number of clinical models for how hospital services might meet the healthcare challenges of the future.
A wide range of clinical models are currently being discussed by specialist clinicians to assess which could potentially offer high quality services for Worcestershire. Once the modelling work has been completed, a group of external clinical experts will work with Worcestershire clinicians to determine which models could offer clinically safe options.
A group of clinicians and stakeholders have met to discuss the decision criteria on which each option will be assessed, and have proposed weightings for these criteria. Between 14 June and 7 July, the public will have the opportunity to comment on the range of clinical models being looked at, the decision criteria and the weighting of the criteria, and so help decide on the best way forward for Worcestershire.
Why we need to change
The NHS in Worcestershire is looking at arranging hospital services differently in order to meet a number of challenges for healthcare services into the future.
These challenges include an ageing population with a greater incidence of long term conditions, increasing public expectations of healthcare provision, clinical guidance for increasing consultant provided services, and pressure to meet financial challenges.
Worcestershire’s elderly population is growing at more than 3% each year, which is above the national average. The NHS in Worcestershire wants to help older people stay active, well and living in their own homes for as long as possible. To do this, we are starting to think differently about the sort of healthcare services we need.
Clinical guidance is increasing the minimum numbers of consultants that should be available 24/7 to maintain safe services. Within Worcestershire, some services are finding it difficult to recruit enough consultants to meet these levels.
New technologies and medicines are improving outcomes for patients but are also costing more. Meanwhile, the NHS has been set a challenge to improve its efficiency by 20% over the next three years. In Worcestershire this means we need to make savings of at least £200 million across the local NHS, including £50 million from the Acute Hospitals Trust by 2014/15.
The aim of the Joint Services Review is to start to meet these challenges by offering hospital services differently, supported by primary and community healthcare services.
Timetable for engagement on options and decision criteria
The options for change currently being discussed and modelled, along with the decision criteria and proposed weightings, will be available to the public from Thursday 14 June.
We are organising a range of events to help you to find out more, ask questions and have your say. We would encourage everyone to try to attend one of these events and help shape hospital services for the future.
You can also find out more and have your say on our website at www.worcestershirehealth.nhs.uk
Get involved: dates for your diary:
Wed June 13 BBC H&W Accountability Hour 10.00 – 11.00am
Listen in or take part in a live Q&A
Take part in small group discussions on possible ways of organising services and how Worcestershire can make the best decisions:
Thurs 14 June - Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Education Centre, 11.30am – 1pm
Fri 15 June - Kidderminster Hospital, Education Centre, 11.30am – 1pm
To book a place, please email us. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.
Take part in large group presentation and discussion with clinicians on on possible ways of organising services and how Worcestershire can make the best decisions:
Wed 27 June - Churchfields Surgery, Bromsgrove, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Sat June 30 - Baxter College, Kidderminster, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Wed July 4 - Civic Centre, Pershore, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Sat July 7 - County Hall, Worcester, Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm
To book a place, please email us. Lunch and refreshments will be provided and travel expenses will be reimbursed.
A personal view, Peter Pinfield Worcestershire Healthwatch
Since the Joint Services Review was launched several months ago I have been to venues all over the County and, although it is fair to say the attendance and interest of the public has been less than I would have expected, the opportunity has been there for the asking.
For those that did attend there was a good open debate and all questions and queries were answered in an open and inclusive manner. In addition, I have found the website extremely helpful in getting a good overview of what has been going on; so that is really worth a look if you are unable to get along to any of the meetings.
As we move into the very important next stage of ideas, findings and discussing possible options I would expect attendance and involvement of the public to significantly increase. I have been to many events with carers, users, and voluntary sector interest groups and the issues around this review are seen by many as the most significant piece of work we have ever taken on health and social care matters here in Worcestershire. As such, this will have a profound impact on the services in the future.
It will be vital that the public and all interested parties continue to be involved and consulted as we move to the next more challenging stages. Now that these dates and venues have been confirmed, I would strongly encourage members of the public to attend and get involved.
Peter Pinfield, Designate Chair Worcestershire Healthwatch