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NHS plans for health care in south Essex

Posted on 20/10/2017 by

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THE chief executive of three south Essex hospitals has outlined how a £118million project to transform local health care will impact on patients.

Clare Panniker, chief executive of Southend, Basildon and Broomfield hospitals has spoken about the sweeping plans which will go out to public consultation next month. The Sustainability and Transformation plans include specialist centres for both a range of emergency and elective treatments.

Ms Panniker confirmed all three hospitals will keep a 24/7 blue light service and will remain “fully functioning general hospitals” but the most critically ill will be transferred to various specialist centres under a new triage system, in much the same way as heart attack patients are currently transferred to Basildon’s cardiac unit. Other specialist centres could include a hyper acute stroke unit and an orthopaedic centre.

Ms Panniker said: “What we are describing is a way of making sure if you are really critically unwell that you do benefit from additional clinical expertise because the evidence, nationally and internationally, suggests that for those patients their clinical outcomes will be better as a result. That’s what we are looking to do and then its looking at what services best go where.”

In the case of heart attack patients, Ms Panniker added: “You would still have the local cardiac services. This isn’t about saying that all patients would now go to Basildon, you will still have local services but the sickest patients may go to Basildon a bit quicker.”

One of the three hospitals is set to become a hyper acute stroke unit with the other two kept as acute stroke centres which will administer initial treatment like clot-busting drugs before deciding if the patient needs more specialist care.

Ms Panniker said: “No matter what the final model we would have acute stroke units on each of the sites so you would have a stroke unit locally as well as the potential for a concentrated hyper acute stroke unit on one of the three sites.

“We envisage senior staff will work as a single clinical team providing a service both in the local hospitals and the hyper acute stroke unit.”

Beds assigned for elective surgery patients are likely to be “ring-fenced” to prevent them being used by emergency cases and specialist elective treatment centres for non-emergency cases will be created. Ms Panniker said: “We have theatres with all staff ready to go and then sometimes we aren’t able to get the patients in because we are dealing with emergency patients, so the idea is we try to protect the elective work as much as possible from the emergencies.

“Also, if you have staff just doing hip and knees for example then obviously they get very efficient and very highly skilled so it’s a better outcome for the patient. It’s more efficient, more productive and helps to support the finances of the hospital. For orthopaedics, for example, we think there is value in having all the planned operations for south Essex concentrated on one of the sites.”

Source: EchoNews