The Path to Excellence Phase Two – Case for Change
Local NHS leaders have published a key document to explain why local hospital services in South Tyneside and Sunderland must continue to transform in order to meet the future needs of patients and offer the best possible care for local people.
Local NHS partners are working together, across organisational boundaries, to address the pressures facing the NHS and Path to Excellence Phase Two is just one small part of how we transform ALL care locally. Changing hospital care alone will not solve the pressures facing the NHS and by working together we want to:
- Help people to stay fit and well so that they do not become unwell in the first place
- Improve community-based care outside of hospital which is close to peoples’ homes
- Improve the health outcomes for people living in South Tyneside and Sunderland
Why do we need to change?
- No change isn’t an option – we need to solve the pressures facing the NHS
We cannot stay as we are if we want to keep providing high quality patient care – this is our driving force for change.
- Workforce pressures – we need to address staff shortages and an ageing workforce
We face daily challenges to staff our wards and departments to a consistently safe level putting extra stress and strain on our amazing NHS staff.
- Future demographic changes – we need to adapt because people are living longer
We have an ageing population. More people are now living with long-term conditions, surviving longer and increasing in number thanks to advances in medicine and technology. In the years ahead this will add even more demand for services.
- Quality improvements needed – we need to embrace opportunities for improvement
There is too much unacceptable variation between our local hospitals that we must improve.
- Finance pressures – we need to make better use of the financial resources allocated to our local health services
Our services currently cost more to deliver than the funding we have available and we must think innovatively about how we maximise our resources.
How do we plan to address these challenges?
Phase Two of the Path to Excellence programme involves the following key areas of hospital-based care and thinking about potential solutions for the future:
- Emergency care and acute medicine – the care provided when patients arrive at the Emergency Department or need emergency admission to hospital
- Emergency surgery – the care provided when patients are admitted to hospital as an emergency and require an immediate operation
- Planned care (including surgery and outpatients) – the care provided when patients are referred to hospital by their GP for a test, scan, treatment or operation.
In addition, we are also thinking about how we improve and develop clinical support services across both hospitals such as therapy services, clinical pharmacy and radiology services.
Working together as bigger, stronger and more resilient clinical and nursing teams across both hospitals will help us reduce our reliance on temporary staff and attract more people to join us permanently. Our teams are already working towards creating a shared vision for each clinical service area which will look to deliver care differently in future and aim to:
- Work towards achieving 7-day consultant-led emergency care services
- Deliver the right care, at the right time, by the right person, in the right place
- Maximize the skills and expertise of our staff
- Improve access to services in the community
- Use technology to increase efficiency and improve patient experience
- Drive out duplication and waste
We believe doing this will be better for patients, improve quality of care, improve patient outcomes and experiences and make the best use of the financial resources we have available.