like all NHS providers, we face the challenge of maintaining and where possible improving quality at the same time as having to make unprecedented financial savings. This really tests the ability of our staff to think and work differently, to be imaginative in solving the problems we face and to really question whether what we are doing is always the best thing for our patients.
We have risen to the challenge and firmly believe that we will continue to do so. The approach taken is broadly three-fold:-
• Firstly, to transform our services so that they reflect patient expectations and the national policy directions to provide more care closer to home;
• Secondly, to make sure that as an organisation we work in ways which maximise efficiency and deliver the best possible value for money;
• Thirdly, to seek opportunities to strengthen our business in line with national policy and ensure we remain efficient and sustainable
In relation to transforming services we have already made changes, following extensive consultation, to our short breaks service for young people and have plans to re-configure some of our Child Development centres so that they offer a better overall service for more people. We have opened a new ‘state of the art’ in-patient unit, New Haven in Bromsgrove, for older people with dementia and other forms of mental illness whilst at the same time investing in community mental health services so that fewer beds are required on our other wards. In 2014/15 we anticipate a strengthening of the role our community hospitals play so that patients with more complex conditions can be treated closer to home. Our transformation agenda will always involve extensive patient and public consultations so that no-one’s voice is lost.
Our plans for the future seek to improve the patient experience by reducing the transfer of patients between services, teams and professions. Reducing unnecessary boundaries between services was one of the motivations for establishing the Trust with its broad portfolio and some of the early successes demonstrate the benefits that can be achieved. Examples include improved transition arrangements for CAMHs patients and more effective care for patients with dementia that are admitted to community hospitals and/or supported by our community teams.
Extending these principles of integration is a consistent theme across the range of improvements planned over the next 5 years. Ultimately some care may need to be provided in hospital. This may be through an urgent unplanned episode or through a planned care pathway. Regardless of the reason for admission the Trust will support transfer of care as close to home as possible as soon as it is clinically appropriate.
The Trust has identified a series of work programmes that focus on achieving this aim through improvements in specific care pathways and the integration of services. The major programmes have been identified as ‘transformational programmes’ as they will contribute significantly to a change in the provision of care across the Trust and in some cases the broader health economy. In addition to the major transformational programmes the Trust is committed to continuous improvement across all services which are reflected in smaller scale service redesign in each Service Delivery Unit.
The major transformational programmes are:
• Sub acute care in the community - strengthening the role of community hospitals, increasing the acuity of patients that can be safely managed in community hospitals and establishing a more integrated model of care.
• Care in the right place, first time- the development of integrated community teams serving a neighbourhood
• Older Adult Mental Health
• Adult Mental Health
• Children and Family Services
• The development of integrated services including Health and Social Care integration