The Mid and South Essex Success Regime will today publish a “sustainability and transformation plan” (STP), which proposes radical changes in health and care over the next five years.
The plan is not yet final. People are invited to have their say over the next few months before the plan is finalised in 2017. Any proposed major service changes are subject to further national checks and formal public consultation in 2017 before any final decision.
The STP and a summary version will be available from the Success Regime website from 3.30pm.
In summary, the plan is to:
- Do more to help people stay well for longer
- Join services together – physical and mental health, hospital, community and social care - to provide more care closer to people and help people avoid having to go to hospital
- Redesign the three main hospitals in mid and south Essex to meet rising demands with the right number of doctors and nurses. By working together as a group, the three hospitals in Basildon, Chelmsford and Southend could provide some of the best quality emergency and specialist care in the country.
Said Dr Anita Donley OBE, independent clinical chair of the Mid and South Essex Success Regime;
“We cannot keep expanding hospital services. We must make best use of the precious and excellent workforce we have in Essex and, with our social care and local government colleagues, prepare better community and GP services; otherwise we will waste tax payers’ money on an outdated system.
“The Mid and South Essex plan tackles the risks of modern life, such as obesity, mental health problems and how we support people who are living longer. It promotes innovation, technology and better ways of supporting and caring for people.
“By working together as a system and with the hospitals working together as a group, there are many opportunities to improve health, increase people’s chances of survival and a good recovery from serious illness and improve patients’ experience overall.”
How your health and care service could be different in five years’ time
In your local community:
- There could be much more emphasis on self-care, prevention and earlier treatment.
- You could see a different range of professionals at your local surgery, but your GP could have longer consultation time available when you need it.
- The range of professionals linked to your local surgery, such as mental health specialists and social care workers, would create a service that supports you as a whole person rather than looking at each single problem separately.
- Through investment and collaboration, some specialists and facilities that were previously only available in a hospital could be available at your local surgery e.g. for skin problems, stroke recovery, pain control; and various scans and tests.
- If you live with long-term conditions and other health risks, experts could help you to plan and manage your care. This means understanding mental as well as physical issues and social as well as health needs. Your local team would know you and be ready to act quickly to prevent problems.
- Early action, such as to prevent falls or to manage dementia, could help you to improve your quality of life and stay independent for as long as possible.
- You would have a greater say in your own health and care plans. You and everyone involved in your care could have access to shared confidential records and other information to monitor and plan your care.
- For people at the end of life, services would work as one to support you at home or in a local place such as a hospice, if you preferred.
- Getting help in an emergency could be easier than it is now and less likely to lead to you being admitted to a hospital or residential care. This could include, for example, more online and telephone help, 111 linked to out of hours services and crisis teams that can act quickly without the need for an ambulance journey to hospital.
In your hospitals:
- The three hospitals in Basildon, Chelmsford and Southend could work better as a group. This saves money in management and support functions, but also opens up the opportunity to create different specialist centres at each of the three hospitals.
- For emergency care, the aim is to develop a network of urgent and emergency care in the community, keep walk-in A&E and assessment services at each hospital and designate one of the three hospitals as a specialist emergency hospital.
- With one hospital concentrating on the major emergencies, the other two hospitals would have more space and specialist doctors and nurses for planned operations and specialist care.
- These possibilities are currently being developed by local clinicians and discussed with service users, leading to a public consultation in 2017.
Said Dr Ronan Fenton, joint medical director of the Mid and South Essex Success Regime;
“We are not talking about closing an A&E at any of the three hospitals. There would be an A&E in all three hospitals for walk-in patients and patients arriving by ambulance. This could have the support of an assessment centre for older and frail people, an assessment centre for children and an assessment centre for surgery. These services would serve the majority of emergency cases locally, including overnight stays for observation and treatment, if necessary.
“For the most serious and life-threatening cases, national evidence tells us that we could save more lives with a specialist emergency hospital for the 1.2 million people of mid and south Essex. We already see this in Essex with the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in Basildon. Anyone suffering an acute heart attack in Essex goes not their local A&E but directly by ambulance to Basildon, where they are seen immediately by top specialists working round the clock.
“With three hospitals working as a group, we could draw together our specialist doctors, nurses and technicians and create new centres of excellence in both planned and emergency care. This would:
- reduce the waiting times in A&E and waiting for tests
- reduce the waiting times for planned operations and put an end to cancellations
- close the gaps in clinical staffing - currently our three hospitals have some 2,000 unfilled posts
- save on the cost of hospital services so that more money could be available for services in the community
- and most importantly of all – we could save more lives and increase the chances of a good recovery.
For more information please visit the Mid and South Essex Success Regime website.