Patients, their family, friends and carers to attend a series of workshops across the area to share thier experiences of using Urgent and Emergency, Maternity, Paediatric or Planned care services in the Humber.
Over 7 workshops that took place throughout October 2019, a total of 77 people attended and took part in the discussions.
Some of the key themes that were highlighted by participants were:
The thing that was most important to most people was getting good quality care and having the best possible chance of getting well. This came through clearly when participants were asked to identify the decision-making criteria that were most important to them. Many of the strengths and weaknesses that were highlighted were focused on the quality of the care that could be provided in each of the different approaches. For example, comments on the different maternity models tended to focus on how they would deliver safe care, particularly in the event of complications during labour. Other issues that were highlighted were linked to the ability to attract enough of the appropriately qualified staff to provide safe and effective care.
The right workforce
The majority of participants were full of praise for hospital staff. In all the workshops it was clear that participants recognised the pressures on staff and empathised strongly with the current workforce.
Participants identified a number of opportunities to develop and make the best use of staff working at our acute hospitals. These included: improving the physical environments staff are working in; making job plans more interesting by enabling staff to work across multiple sites or undertake a wide range of different tasks. Participants also identified the opportunity for local NHS organisations to work with the wider community to help “sell” our local area as a great place to live and work in as well as supporting initiatives to get local children and young people into careers in health and care.
Access and travel
A lot of the participants raised issues around travel and access to services. Many said they were willing to travel further, particularly to access specialist services, as they felt that greater quality of care could be provided by centralised services. However, there was concern about how people living far away from the sites would be impacted by having to travel further to access care. Participants noted that travelling long distances for a one-off event was generally acceptable (if it meant they were getting the best = care) but it was important that ongoing care was available locally, wherever possible. Many participants suggested that services could make better use of technology (including low-tech options such as telephone) to reduce the need for people to travel to hospital at all.
Participants were asked to comment specifically on how digital technology could be used to improve the different models of care, therefore there was lots of feedback on this topic. In general, participants were really positive about the potential of digital technology to improve care and some were frustrated by the sense that health and care services were ‘behind the times’ in terms of adopting technological solutions. Sharing information and having access to health and care records was seen as critically important in all of the potential clinical models. In addition, there was significant support for increasing the use of virtual consultations (both with patients and between different clinicians) to reduce the need for moving people around. Participants also suggested making better use of technology to provide more timely information (e.g. live waiting times; digital appointments).
Give patients more information and knowledge
Another common theme to emerge was that participants were keen to receive more timely information about what was happening in their care. Patients were keen to be able to ask questions and have them answered remotely, while they want to have greater knowledge around the choices available to them. Patients were eager for hospitals to manage their expectations around waiting times better. Participants also felt there is the opportunity to improve communication between services and, where possible, standardise communication to patients to help reduce the time it takes for patient to receive correspondence.
The detailed feedback captured during the workshops around each of the potential clinical models has been produced into a single feedback report, and it's findings shared with the programme team and used as part of the evaluation process to refine possible clinical models for acute services in the Humber.
We have also shared the feedback report with the Citizen’s Panel, which is a group of 20 independent citizens from across the Humber area, representing various geographical areas and bringing a range of perspectives to discussions. The group acts independently to provide critique, support and advice to ensure the views of patients and the public are considered throughout all stages of the Humber Acute Services Programme.
Finally we have published the feedback report in full on our website so it is publicly available.
What is the Humber Acute Services Programme?
Across the Humber area and beyond, local health and care organisations are working in partnership to improve services for local people. We are working to find new ways of improving the health and wellbeing of local people through transforming care and support in our communities.
As part of this work, we are looking at how to provide the best possible hospital services for the people of the Humber area and make the best use of the money, staff and buildings that are available to us. This may include delivering some aspects of care outside of hospital altogether
to better meet the needs of local people.
In summer 2019, the scope of the review was broadened again to look at the building blocks of a hospital: