July 1, 2009
The NHS in the East Midlands is celebrating the progress it has made since announcing its vision for local health services a year ago.
In June 2008 we published ‘From Evidence to Excellence’, a plan for transforming the local NHS over the next decade into a service which is more evidence-based, patient-centred, safer, of higher quality and championed by clinicians.
One year into our journey and we can already report real improvements across the range of health services in our region. Some of the highlights include:
- We are making it easier for people to use therapy services. For example, in Nottingham you can now refer yourself directly for physiotherapy without the need to see a doctor. The physiotherapists operate out of 14 clinics across the city and since last April more than 4,400 local people have benefitted
- We are supporting more people to manage their conditions better and closer to home. For example, in Derbyshire patients with heart failure can benefit from the ‘Hospital at Home’ service which provides urgent same-day assessment of patients who are given the option of being managed at home rather than being admitted to hospital.
- We are improving access to mental health support. For example, well-being teams have been set up in GP surgeries across Northamptonshire to support people with symptoms of anxiety, depression and trauma and they are receiving around 500 referrals a month.
- We are improving access to urgent and emergency care. For example, a one-stop service has been developed at Leicester General Hospital for people who have suffered a ‘mini-stroke’ and access to the medical treatment thrombolysis (removing blood clots) has been made available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- We are giving women more choice about giving birth and greater support from midwifery services. For example, in Lincolnshire we are supporting and evaluating the Grantham midwifery unit to increase home births and offer local services.
More details about our achievements are published in ‘Towards Excellence: One Year into Our Journey’, an anniversary document to celebrate progress so far.
As well as looking back over the past year, the document also looks ahead at our plans to further transform local services. For example, the health community in the East Midlands has committed to making significant improvements to the way in which we provide care for people who have had a stroke, heart attack or have suffered major trauma injuries. We are proposing to create systems of care for the whole region in these areas which will give patients speedier access to expert doctors, nurses and treatments so that more survive and make better recoveries.
Kathy McLean, medical director for NHS East Midlands, said: “Our vision was created with an unprecedented level of involvement of NHS organisations, clinicians, patients and local communities and as such has given us a clear mandate for improving health care in the East Midlands over the next decade. We are now starting to see the fruits of this through the development of services which are becoming more easily accessible, of better quality and that are improving people’s health.”
Tim Rideout, chief executive of NHS Leicester City who has overall responsibility for the Towards Excellence programme, said: “We may be heading into a challenging time for the NHS given the national financial situation but here in the East Midlands we remain committed to our vision. It is only through striving to deliver excellence by focussing on the patient and the quality services we should be giving them that we will create an efficient and sustainable health system where resources are properly deployed and waste is eliminated.”
Key to our approach throughout has been engagement with stakeholders from clinicians to local authority partners, the voluntary sector, patients and the public. This approach will continue to underpin the processes we have in place to make improvements to the local NHS.
The models of care which are being developed by our clinical leaders are being implemented through the commissioning process. The chief executives of all our primary care trusts are taking active leadership roles and working collaboratively to ensure the right services and systems of care are being delivered for their communities.
Where our proposals for change represent a significant variation to the way services are currently delivered we will supplement our engagement work with full, formal public consultation.