The second phase of a programme of local hospital services transformation will be discussed with elected members when NHS organisations in South Tyneside and Sunderland attend the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny committee (Thursday 21st June 2018).
The Path to Excellence programme is a five-year transformation of hospital healthcare across South Tyneside and Sunderland. It has been set up to secure the future of local NHS services and to identify new and innovative ways of delivering high quality, joined up, sustainable care that will benefit local people both now and in the future.
Over the past six months, NHS doctors, nurses and support staff from both hospital Trusts have already been coming together to begin early discussions around ‘phase two’ of the Path to Excellence programme which will look at a number of hospital services covering both emergency and planned care which are provided at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Work so far has focussed on understanding the current and likely future challenges, the gaps in quality of care which currently exist against important clinical standards and the issues facing the long-term sustainability of services, in particular linked to gaps in the workforce and the financial impact of this.
Over 700 staff across both Trusts have already given their feedback on the issues and challenges being faced in their particular areas of work, as well as putting forward ideas for quality improvement. A third round of targeted patient engagement has recently been completed when over 4000 local people were encouraged to complete a survey about their experiences across a range of emergency and planned healthcare services which are provided at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.
As work gathers pace on ‘phase two’, NHS leaders are sending a very clear message to all staff, patients and the public that both hospitals will continue to exist in the future and both will continue to play pivotal roles serving local people. There will, however, need to be some changes in the way services are delivered to help both South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital improve some of the gaps in quality which currently exist and address growing workforce pressures.
Further staff engagement events will take place next week (25, 26, 27 June) bringing together hundreds of staff from both Trusts to suggest and consider ways for improving service quality and safety.
NHS leaders from NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Sunderland CCG, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, will share information around the clinical service review process that is being followed and the feedback gathered to date from staff with elected members on the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) for South Tyneside and Sunderland.
The role of elected members on the JHOSC committee is to scrutinise any future proposals following the clinical service review process which may result in substantial changes to local health services.
Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the Path to Excellence programme, said: “On behalf of the NHS partners, we are really pleased to share our early thinking around the current and future challenges the NHS is facing and our aspirations on how we can meet those challenges to make our local hospitals even stronger for the future.
“It is really important that elected members are fully sighted on this work at the earliest possible stage and that they have the opportunity to give us their valuable feedback and views as we formulate plans.
“Today’s meeting will allow us to share the feedback we have gained so far as part of a ‘draft case for change’ for ‘phase two’ which outlines the joint ambitions of the local NHS to improve hospital services even further for the future.
“This ‘draft case for change’ will continue to develop further over the rest of 2018 and early into 2019 as we learn more from our work with staff, stakeholders and partners. Over the autumn, we also intend to share our early thinking on emerging ideas for the future and give people the opportunity to influence any future options, which would eventually form part of a formal public consultation later in 2019.”
The draft ‘case for change’ for ‘phase two’ of the Path to Excellence programme will be formally launched later in the summer and shared widely, giving local people the opportunity to find out more.
This work on phase two of the Path to Excellence programme is taking place as NHS leaders await the outcome of a referral to the Secretary of State for Health from the South Tyneside and Sunderland Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the decisions made by local CCGs for ‘phase one’.
The services reviewed under ‘phase one’ included stroke care; maternity and women’s healthcare; and urgent and emergency paediatric services – all of which remain vulnerable due to significant staffing pressures.