Our local NHS in Shropshire has been carrying out a full-scale review of how health services are run in the county. The NHS Future Fit programme focuses on the *hospital services provided by Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) and Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (SCHT), with the aim of improving acute and community hospital services in Shropshire.
*These include The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and The Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.
The NHS organisations that have overall responsibility for this review are Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (SCCG for short) and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group ((T&W CCG for short). The CCG's are responsible for deciding which health services will be provided in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin and they also pay for them. The CCG's are 'commissioners' of services and the organisations that provide the services, like hospitals, are called 'providers' of services.
Why is it happening?
Our local NHS is giving the following main reasons for carrying out the review:
- The existing configuration of hospital services across multiple sites is not sustainable. It does not reflect the most recent guidelines and there are concerns that long term safety and quality of services will be compromised. It contributes to big challenges in relation to recruiting and retaining staff and financially in terms of duplication of costs and additional pressures to do with funding.
- Separating *Planned and *Unplanned Care will improve the quality and safety of services by making sure there are enough experienced staff with the right facilities around them, 24 hours a day, 7-days a week. It will help to keep specialist services in-county and could bring some services back to the county from other parts of the region.
*Planned Care is the name given to those services and treatments which are not carried out in an emergency, like hip replacements and cataracts. Patients are usually referred into these services by their GP.
*Unplanned Care is the name given to urgent or emergency care