Major step forward towards public consultation on Lincolnshire NHS services – 25 January 2017

Major step forward towards public consultation on Lincolnshire NHS services

Over 150 senior clinical leaders, managers and key stakeholders are meeting in Sleaford today to consider a range of proposals to change some health services in advance of a major public consultation in May 2017.

The purpose of the meeting today is to evaluate a number of proposals for hospital changes covering urgent and emergency care, maternity services, children’s specialist services (paediatrics), learning disability services, planned care services and stroke services.

This event follows on from the work of the Lincolnshire Health and Care Programme to come up with a new model for delivering health and care in the county which will be both safe and sustainable in the long term.

The challenges facing the health and care system in Lincolnshire have been described in detail in the recently published Sustainability and Transformation Plan.  This five year plan makes clear that some clinical services will need to change in the future in response to growing demand from an ageing population.   Many of these services struggle to meet safety standards due to the shortage of key staff and proposals have been developed over the last 2-3 years including plans to centralise some services and move some other services much closer to home.

All health organisations in Lincolnshire are committed to holding a public consultation in 2017 to get the views of residents on proposals for changes to these services.  No final decisions will be made until after the public consultation.

Attendees are being asked to consider the detailed evidence for each proposal and look at the impact of the proposal against four criteria – quality, access, affordability and deliverability.

Over 150 people from health and care organisations across the county are attending the meeting, as well as local politicians and representatives from local health and care groups within the independent and voluntary sectors.

Speaking ahead of the event, Allan Kitt, Chief Officer of South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group explained:  “We have to follow the appropriate process to ensure the proposals we put to the public are fit for purpose.   NHS England are clear that proposals can only be put to the public if they are clinically safe and deliverable.   Today’s meeting will allow us to gather together those senior clinicians and experts who have helped to develop our proposals, along with key local stakeholders, to look at what is being proposed and take a view on the impact of those proposals.

There will be some difficult choices to make as we look today at the detailed information for each proposal.  What we do know is that some of the proposals will enable us to deliver much better outcomes for our patients.  I think we all agree that our residents deserve the very best services we can deliver.”

Following today’s meeting, proposals for public consultation will still need to be reviewed by an independent regional panel of experts and approved by NHS England before the consultation can be launched in May.