Update on Phase Two of Path to Excellence programme – January 2024
Phase Two of the Path to Excellence programme will no longer be progressed as it currently stands.
The news comes over two years on since the programme last published an update on its working ideas for the future of surgical services. Since then, a number of things have influenced and superseded plans. This includes the ongoing recovery from the global pandemic and, most notably, an even greater increase in demand on all NHS services since work originally started back in 2016. This has fundamentally changed how we will need to think about the future.
Despite the challenges of the past few years, surgical teams at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) have still made great progress as part of business as usual improvements. This includes:
· The integration of our specialty teams to deliver single services across two sites.
· Making sure we have more theatre space for when we need to operate in an emergency. This also reduces the need to cancel as many planned operations at times of peak demand.
· Making sure we get more people home sooner after they have had their surgery. In T&O we are expanding our outreach service to support with this.
· Being more productive with our theatre time so that we can do more planned operations. This is helping to get waiting lists down.
· Creating a new unit where we can do minor hand surgery. This means we can keep our main operating theatres free for other surgery.
This great progress is down to the efforts of our fantastic surgical and theatre teams. It means we now meet many more clinical standards which is great news for our patients. Over the past few years we have also seen major investment into our South Tyneside District Hospital site with new facilities including the Integrated Diagnostic Centre, a new Intensive Care Unit, a new Endoscopy Unit, a new Women’s Health Unit and a new Outpatient Pharmacy.
The Trust will now continue to improve its local health and care services in line with the ambitions outlined in the region’s Integrated Care Strategy. This will include working with partners, with patients and with the public to plan together for the future.
Dr Shahid Wahid, Medical Director at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) said: “It has become increasingly clear that things have changed considerably since we first started on this journey and none of us could have foreseen the onset of a global pandemic and the lasting changes that this would bring.
“I would like to thank staff, particularly within our surgical and theatre teams, for their dedicated leadership and engagement with the programme over the past few years which has resulted in many positive changes and improved clinical standards for our patients. It is important now that we keep our relentless focus on quality improvement so that people in South Tyneside and Sunderland continue to experience the highest standards of care.”