Senior Responsible Officer for NHS Future Fit, David Evans sets the record straight with answers to some of the most recent frequently asked questions around the proposed changes to local hospital services.
Message from David Evans, Senior Responsible Officer, NHS Future Fit:
27th September 2016
People will have woken up this morning to see headlines telling them that A&E is to close at Telford and a new Emergency Department will be built at Shrewsbury.
The most important thing to say is that No Final Decision Has Been Made. I cannot give this enough emphasis.
I would like to quickly remind everyone about what we are trying to achieve with the NHS Future Fit programme. We are trying to find a solution to the challenges of Accident & Emergency and Critical Care provision in the region. The vast majority of health professionals working in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin agree this is needed. That solution would involve:
- A brand new Emergency Centre at either Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal in Telford
- The majority of planned care would be on the other site. This would be for planned (non-emergency) operations and other planned procedures
- Two new Urgent Care Centres – one at RSH and one at PRH where most of the patients who are
currently seen in A&E would continue to be able to be treated where they are now
- Outpatients and Diagnostics at both PRH and RSH
What gave rise to the headlines you have seen about is something called the Non-Financial Appraisal. This was an important meeting that took place on Friday.
It involved a panel consisting of all the partner organisations involved in NHS Future Fit – all NHS organisations including Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust, other providers, ambulance services, local government, patient representatives and others from across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales. 50 people in total.
It essentially weighed up the advantages and disadvantages for having the Emergency Centre at each site, without taking money into account. The main criteria they looked at were:
- Access – how easy each option is to reach for patients
- Deliverability of the option
- Quality of Care
- Attracting and retaining the right staff
However the Non-Financial Appraisal is just one of the pieces of work which will eventually lead to a preferred option.
There is also the Financial Appraisal. This will consider the money aspects of what is involved with delivering changes at each site and it will look at value for money and affordability of each option.
The NHS Future Fit Board will then have to make a recommendation (based on the Financial and Non-Financial Appraisals) on a preferred option to the area’s two clinical commissioning bodies – Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs.
But even these bodies will not make a final decision at this point – there will still be many more steps to take.
This includes a Public Consultation that will last at least 12 weeks. It is expected to start in December, and I say “at least” 12 weeks because we will take into account the holiday period.
Even then there will be no final decision. To begin with the results of the public consultation will need to be analysed thoroughly. But there will also need to be scrutiny of our plans – both from a clinical and financial point-of-view - from various bodies at a national and regional level.
There is a huge amount of work to undertake over the coming months. Nothing is certain yet.
Anyone can take a look at a short animation that explains the NHS Future Fit “case for change”. It has been viewed close to 10,000 times already and can be seen at: www.nhsfuturefit.org
People can also get involved by going to: www.nhsfuturefit.org/get-involved
And once again, no final decision has been made.
This piece was written for the Shropshire Star and has been printed today – Tuesday September 27
The following blog provides the views of the three clinicians leading NHS Future Fit in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. It is a discussion on the balance between travel time access and clinical outcomes in advance of the planned future consultation on the reconfiguration of hospital services within the county. It is from Dr Stephen James, Clinical Director of Information and Enhanced Technologies, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group; Dr Michael Innes, from Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group; and Dr Edwin Borman, Medical Director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust:
By Dr Peter Clowes
Shropshire Community Health Trust serves patients across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. The services provided range from district nursing and health visiting, to physiotherapy and specialist community clinics.
By Mike Innes, Chair of Telford and Wrekin CCG and GP
The last year has been simulating and intense when it comes to service redesign. The instruction from ‘Call to Action’ was for a clinically led process of redesign and I have had the privilege to be one of the lead clinicians when we have been considering how we want our hospital based services to operate in the future. Our process of engagement and co-creation has drawn on the expertise and experience of the widest group of stakeholders ever convened in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, including the public, patients and their representatives, social care and most branches of clinical care possible.
By Bill Gowans, Vice-Chair/Clinical Director of Transformational Change Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
Firstly I’d like to say how am proud to have played a part in leading the clinical design workstream of NHS Future Fit. Following six months of intensive meetings we published our clinical design report in May 2014. This report explains the clinical model and is effectively a whole system plan which shows the way in which hospital services in the future will be provided as part of an joined up health and social care system across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales. The plan and the report is the result of the engagement and teamwork of 300 clinicians and patients from all walks of life and it is because of this level of engagement that it forms such an important foundation for the rest of the NHS Future Fit programme.
By Dr Edwin Borman, Medical Director, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (17/12/14)
As the name suggests NHS Future Fit is about designing healthcare for the future. It is not about trying to solve problems of the past. One of the key areas that NHS Future Fit will address is the way we provide acute or emergency treatment for patients who need it. The key to achieving this change is to bring together, under one roof, all of the services and specialities needed to deliver the best possible care for patients.
There are more than 15.4 million people living with a long term health condition in England and that figure is rising fast. The likelihood is that a high proportion of us will at some point in our lives be faced with the life changing diagnosis of a long term condition.
If you use NHS services within the county then the thought on most people’s minds will be - where will the single emergency centre be located? Well, we won’t know the answer to that for a while, as there are lots of discussions that need to take place with patients, local people, doctors, nurses and others involved in NHS Future Fit. But with the amount of media coverage around the centre, I can understand why people may think there are unanswered questions, as there’s been lots of speculation on this topic.