I feel very strongly that we must transform how acute services are provided which is why the Humber Acute Services Review is such an important priority to me.

Emma Latimer, Chair of the Humber Acute Services Review; and Accountable Officer at NHS Hull CCG, NHS North Lincolnshire CCG and NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG

I am really proud to be the Chair of the Humber Acute Services Review, a dynamic and forward-thinking programme, providing local NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups with a real opportunity to transform the way we have worked together in the past and plan services in the future that really do make a difference to our population.

The review commenced in 2018 and is about developing a clear plan for the future of our hospital services. Working with patients, the public and other key stakeholders, we will describe how modern healthcare will be provided in all of our communities across the whole of the Humber region. This will include how we make best use of new technology innovations to support how care is provided.

Unfortunately, for a number of years we have struggled to attract sufficient clinical staff to work in the Humber area. This means that the excellent staff we have are stretched, which is not satisfactory for them, their families or our patients. Patients are not always being seen or treated quickly enough and, like in many other areas of the country, we are not meeting all of the expected core NHS standards, such as waiting times or quality measures.

Much of our medical equipment is old, which means that we can’t diagnose and evaluate medical conditions as quickly as we want. We need better and modern technology in place to support how we deliver care in the future, including being able to offer virtual consultations where appropriate. I feel very strongly that we must transform how acute services are provided which is why this review is such an important priority to me.

The review includes the following programmes of work that are running in parallel:

Programme one (Interim Clinical Plan) – We are working closely with the two trusts in our area to establish and implement new and sustainable arrangements in priority service areas, where we need to take immediate action. These specialities include:

  • Haematology
  • Neurology
  • Ear Nose and Throat
  • Dermatology
  • Cancer Inpatient Services
  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Respiratory
  • Specialist Paediatrics
  • Oncology

Programme two – We will continue to work with our clinicians, the public, patient representatives and partners to develop more detailed, clinically viable service proposals across the key hospital service areas of Urgent and Emergency Care, Maternity, Paediatrics and Planned Care. This work will help us to determine how our hospitals could be reconfigured to ensure they provide the best quality of care to our population.

Programme three – This longer-term piece of work focuses on working with a range of partners including Local Authorities, Universities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to submit a case bid to the Government for significant capital investment to support the redevelopment of our hospitals and wider health and care estates across the Humber.

This is a really exciting piece of work to be involved in, and I am hopeful we can successfully support economic growth in the region. We expect to find out if we have successfully made it through to the next stage of the process in early 2021.

Last month I attended a Regional Review meeting with Richard Barker (NHS England, North East and Yorkshire Regional Director), Professor Stephen Eames (System Lead and Independent Chair for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership) and a wide range of other stakeholders including medical directors, chairs, and local authorities.

The meeting was very positive and we are very clear on the actions needed to take us to the next stage. There is a huge task ahead of us and I am grateful for the people who have put themselves forward to deliver the work needed.

Over the next few months, clinical, public and other expert groups will be using the information we have gathered so far to evaluate the different ways of providing  hospital services. This work will be used to develop detailed proposals for the future of our hospital services and we are aiming to share more in terms of short, medium and long-term options by the end of this year.

To find out more about the Humber Acute Services Review, please click here

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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