Update on the public consultation
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to give their views on the range of options for three areas of acute hospital care in South Tyneside and Sunderland as part of the Path to Excellence consultation.
The areas of care under consultation are:
- Stroke care services
- Maternity (obstetrics) and women’s healthcare (inpatient gynaecology) services; and
- Children and young peoples (urgent and emergency paediatrics) services.
The Path to Excellence public consultation period closed at midnight on Sunday 15th October 2017 and so far we’ve received:
- 862 paper/online survey returns to date
- 807 street survey interviews
- 443 people attended a public event
- 19 public events
- 12 staff events
- 23 focus groups reports received to date
- 46 individual or organisational responses received to date
- 290 direct responses from patients using services received to date
The public consultation is being led by the commissioners of local health services – NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Sunderland CCG – who are responsible for planning and buying healthcare services on behalf of patients.
Working in partnership with South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, who formed a strategic alliance in March 2016 known as ‘South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group’, all four NHS organisations are committed to delivering the best possible NHS services for the future through the Path to Excellence programme.
What happens next?
All the responses are currently being collated, and an independent research organisation will analyse the feedback and produce an independent report.
We expect to publish the report at the beginning of December 2017 on our website and also feedback in person to key stakeholders, including NHS staff. In addition, the research organisation will also present the findings at two public events and to a meeting of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
We will publicise venues and dates for the public feedback and staff feedback sessions in November.
It is the statutory responsibility of the governing bodies of the two CCGs to make a decision on the final arrangement of the services under consultation.
Before they do that, they will consider and take into account all the feedback gathered during the consultation from the public, patients, staff, the two hospital trusts, clinical networks, the North East Ambulance Service and other stakeholders such as campaign groups, elected members and members of parliament.
Between now and February next year, there will be a series of sessions to help members of the CCG governing bodies to formulate their final views.
This includes the public feedback sessions, clinical workshops with members of the clinical services review group and workshops with the two CCG governing bodies workshops before culminating with an extraordinary meeting in common of the governing bodies of the two clinical commissioning groups in February 2018, held in public and at which the two CCGs will make their final decisions.
This allows the opportunity for any further comments that have been received from the public feedback sessions, and for other data or views to be considered as well as consideration of any alternative service models that may have been suggested through the public consultation.
You can view a diagram of this process on our website here: https://pathtoexcellence.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/PtE-Phase-1-Decision-Making-process-1.0-September-2017-for-publication-FINAL.pdf
Travel and transport update
There has been universal agreement from bodies representing health, travel and transport organisations and interest groups in South Tyneside and Sunderland to work together to try to resolve issues raised during the Path to Excellence public consultation.
During the 18 public events held since the beginning of July, a major concern raised by local people is around travel and transport and access to these clinical services in the future.
Through the consultation to date the public have helped us understand the risks in relation to travel and transport and what might be needed to mitigate some of these. As a result, we’ve been able to collate the issues and concerns as well as comments and ideas for solutions, and this has been extremely helpful to start the wider discussion with those organisations directly involved in travel and transport.
At a dedicated travel and transport stakeholder event attended by 28 people, there was universal support for the need to establish new partnerships to tackle these issues together.
People attending agreed to create two new working groups – one to specifically focus on NHS issues such as clinical transport, ambulances, car parking etc and a second group to focus on public transport such as bus, metro, interchanges and ticketing.
- NHS organisations
- North East Ambulance Service
- Sunderland City Council
- South Tyneside Council
- Elected members
- Health Watch Sunderland and South Tyneside
- Tyne and Wear public transport service users group
- Bus operators – Go North East, Stagecoach
- A number of voluntary sector organisations
Attendees also had the opportunity to film a short video at the event with contributions from the North East Ambulance Service, Health Watch South Tyneside, Go North East, Stage Coach and Nexus. https://pathtoexcellence.org.uk/travel-and-transport/
Issues raised by the public include concern about travel costs, access to parking on hospital sites, and additional pressure on ambulance services. Ideas generated at the session include better information about what help with travel and transport is already available, improving bus connections and introducing direct bus routes between sites.
All issues and ideas to date have been collated and are published on the programme website, along with the presentation from the event in the dedicated travel and transport area of the website:
We would like to thank everyone who attended the event; there was a real positive feeling in the room and a clear willingness from everyone to work together in the best interests of the local communities we serve.
Path to excellence stakeholder advisory panel
A new stakeholder advisory panel will meet for the first time in November and will help inform the best ways to engage and consult with staff, stakeholders, patients and members of the public for the next phase of the Path to Excellence programme.
It will be jointly chaired by the lay members for patient and public involvement of the two CCGs, and stakeholders invited to join include Health Watch organisations, Trade Union regional officers, elected members, hospital foundation trust governors, and community and voluntary groups (represented by Health Net initially).
The principle role of the stakeholder advisory group is to offer advice, views, suggestions or opinions to help support future engagement and consultation activities for the Path to Excellence programme.
The group will meet approximately every six weeks and notes from the advisory panel meetings and the terms of reference will be published on the website and highlighted in future bulletins.
Latest performance data for South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals
We’ve had some questions about the new online tracker that the BBC has launched so thought it would be helpful to clarify issues in relation to the path to excellence programme.
The BBC’s new online tracker of performance data resulted in extensive local and national media coverage showing how the north east is the best performing NHS region in the country. The latest performance data for both South Tyneside and Sunderland for quarter two (July to September 2017) shows that both Trusts are meeting all national performance standards on waiting times which is excellent news for patient care and a testament to hardworking NHS staff.
This does not mean however that change is not necessary. Whilst many improvements have been taking place locally by staff working hard to improve waiting times and patient flow, this is quite separate and not directly linked to the Path to Excellence programme. The long-term strategic challenges being faced, particularly in relation to the workforce and reliance on temporary and locum staff, is something which the Path to Excellence is seeking to address to ensure the safety, quality and sustainability of patient care in the long-term.