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 is considerable evidence to show that, particularly in an emergency situation, being met on arrival by senior clinicians and specialists, who are all working together at one site, with all the necessary equipment and facilities, can have a huge impact on a patient’s chance of survival.
It is for that reason we want one emergency centre, regardless of the location, for the residents of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Powys.
Through the introduction of urgent care centres (UCC) we will be able to deliver the less serious element of A&E by providing care for patients who need care urgently but do not need to be seen in an emergency department. For example if a patient has a chest infection that needs intravenous antibiotics or if they have a cut that will not stop bleeding, they could go to their local UCC, which will mean they can be treated quickly and closer to home.
Another key element is the need to separate patients who are booked in for planned care from those who are admitted to hospital or need emergency care. When acute and emergency care gets too busy and beds are needed patients booked in for planned procedures may be cancelled. We don’t want this to happen in the future. That is why we are planning to have a separate planned care centre that will provide a more reliable and efficient service and patients won’t have to worry about their procedure being cancelled at the last minute.
NHS Future Fit is the start of our journey to develop the system that will support and enhance our clinical services. The aim is to deliver the best care for everyone now, and in the future.
The best thing about this journey is that for the first time in the county and beyond, it’s us, the clinicians, and you, the patients, who are leading the change. We have worked together to develop a clinical model which is based around what healthcare is really all about – the experience of the patient and the clinician who looks after them. We will continue to work together to move these proposals forward and share them with our local communities.