The Better Care Together Plan - Our Sustainability and Transformation Partnership
The NHS commission and provide health and care services for over a million people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Every day our services support people to stay healthy and lead independent lives. And when people are ill, our services are there for them, their carers and families.
Over the next five years, the services we deliver, and where and how we offer them, will need to change, so that they can continue to be delivered in a way that is safe for patients as well as in a way the NHS can afford. The demand for services is growing more quickly than the resources which we have can cope with, as people are living longer and our population is continuing to grow. The Better Care Together Plan explains how these services can be changed for the better to improve care and the patient experience while meeting these demands.
We are already investing in services, including £45.5 million on a new state of the art emergency department at Leicester Royal Infirmary. We also plan to change the use of buildings in Leicester City Hospitals. This means changing from three acute sites to two, which will be at Leicester Royal Infirmary and the Glenfield. This does not mean the General will close, but instead be used to offer more outpatient services.
The plan also outlines future options for maternity services in Leicester, Leicester and Rutland, including the current standalone midwife led unit in Melton Mowbray. In addition, it also covers the movement of hospital beds from the big city hospitals to the community, in local hospitals or at home, where people tell us they would rather be. Services delivered in the community by specialised clinical teams will increase to support this, and there will be reconfiguration of community hospitals and their beds and community-based services to support people being treated at home wherever possible.
While it has been mentioned in the media that these changes will mean job losses, it’s important to explain that, although at the end of the five year period we expect that some roles will be delivered differently and more in the community, this will not come through redundancy. Instead we expect to see this delivered through a reduction in the need for agency staff, and natural turnover such as through retirement.
In West Leicestershire this means that more services will be delivered locally, closer to people’s homes. This includes potential investment in Hinckley and Bosworth to improve endoscopy and day case theatre services which will mean that we can offer cancer screening for the first time in the area. Services in the community across West Leicestershire will be improved, and will be delivered in people’s homes wherever possible, which will mean that community beds will be reduced as more patients will be able to stay at home.
Access to urgent care will be improved as well, with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week services, that gets you the right care and treatment in a crisis. There will be more services available which are easy to access and simple to use. Patients will access all these services through NHS 111, meaning they won’t have to worry about navigating a complicated health and social care service as it will all be joined up behind the scenes.
These plans will help us to address our projected NHS funding gap of £399 million while delivering services for patients which meet their needs now, and in the future.
Over the course of the year we have held events across West Leicestershire to share the draft version of the plan with patients, family carers and staff to discuss the draft Better Care Together Plan. You can find out more about the events here, and download the findings here.
Following the publication of the Better Care Together plan, the next steps will be a public consultation, where we ask everyone in the area to let us know how the changes may affect them, and what matters most in the health services they receive. No decisions will be made until after the end of this consultation.
To find out more, and see how you can be involved, please visit the Better Care Together website at www.bettercareleicester.nhs.uk