Residents in Trafford are to have their say on an ambitious plan to secure a vibrant future for the home of the NHS.
Health bosses and local doctors have told local people over the past 12 months that they are determined to keep healthcare services at Trafford General Hospital.
But to make this possible, major changes have to be made to the services that are delivered there in order that local residents can be confident they are clinically safe and affordable in to the future.
Dr George Kissen, medical director at NHS Trafford and senior local GP, believes that the plans, unveiled today, will ensure that the growing concerns over the clinical safety and financial viability of the services provided from Trafford General Hospital are addressed.
He explained: “Trafford General Hospital has the smallest NHS–run A&E in the country. This brings with it major challenges. There are very small numbers of patients using the services there - for many services there are fewer patients than what is considered appropriate by the professional medical bodies for clinicians to be able to ensure their ongoing competency.
“This makes it difficult to attract new doctors, it means that services cost more than they should and it compromises our ability to ensure good clinical outcomes. In short, it means that for too long local people have not been getting the type of service they should and deserve to receive. And we have not invested enough in community and primary care services.”
Over the past 12 months GPs, nurses and hospital doctors have been working together with local people to look at a variety of different models of care.
The result is a plan that will ensure that people receive, the right care, at the right time, in the right place; that care is delivered in the local community whenever possible; that people admitted to hospital are only those who need to be in hospital; and that a patients’ stay in hospital is only as long as modern medicine requires.
It will also reduce the growing financial pressure on the hospital, which is currently costing £19 million more than there is available to provide the existing services. And it will enable the NHS to look differently at how it can invest in community and primary care services in the future.
The plan will see several new and enhanced services delivered on the Trafford General Hospital site, some current services would be changed and new integrated ways of working would be established so that GPs, district nurses, social care teams and hospital doctors work more closely together and more in local communities.
Dr Simon Musgrave is clinical head of division in Trafford for Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
He said: “Patient safety and the provision of quality, cost effective healthcare services is our top priority. To ensure this, some changes need to be made to local healthcare services – we have always been clear about that.
“In reality most people will not notice a great deal of difference. Seventy five per cent of what we current do at the hospital in Trafford will continue to be done there. But if we are to ensure that the sickest patients get the best possible care and treatment, we need to look more widely at the facilities and expertise around us in the larger teaching hospitals in central and south Manchester and use these to best effect.”
He added: “In addition, we need to recognise that medical practice has dramatically changed in recent years. That means we can safely see and treat far more patients outside of a traditional hospital setting. As hospital doctors we need to find new, more integrated ways of delivering services alongside GPs in local communities so that accessing care is more convenient for local people. In a nutshell, this is what we want to achieve and we want to hear local peoples’ views about our plans.”
Over the next 14 weeks, residents will be asked to share their views on how a long term future for Trafford General Hospital, providing services that are safe and affordable, can be secured.
During the consultation, the NHS wants to understand what local residents think about the proposal and how the suggested changes would impact on their lives.
Public events have been set up so local residents can share their views with clinicians.
To ensure that people’s comments are taken into account they can respond to the official consultation questionnaire, which is available online now, and will be posted through the door of every household in Trafford by mid-August.
The consultation will take place between 26 July and 31 October. You can download the consultation documents and consultation response form here.