'The way we support health and social care will be done differently', says Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Karen Jackson
“IF WE want to provide high-quality services with good access to them, it is very clear we cannot carry on doing the same things as we are now.”
These are the words of Karen Jackson, the chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NLAG), as a borough-wide review of health and social care services gets under way.
The aim of the Sustainable Service Review (SSR) is to outline what services are required by the health service and wider community, and how they can be delivered while getting the best value for money.
Among the areas being looked into are maternity, pediatric, stroke, planned (non-emergency) and unplanned (emergency) care
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And, while Mrs Jackson said she could not rule out the possibility of some services having to close in the future – there is no indication of what, if any, services would be under threat.
According to health experts, more and more people are becoming dependent on NHS and social care services as the number of those with complex and general health needs continues to rise across all generations.
They believe that one of the key contributing factors in this rise is as a result of people’s lifestyle choices, such as smoking or being overweight.
The SSR is now in the early stages, with members of clinical commissioning groups, both in North and North East Lincolnshire (NEL) and NLAG working together to collate information to help them fully understand the needs of the community.
Providers – made up of frontline staff from GPs, hospital, social care, community care and other health organisations – are also collating ways these requirements can be best met.
An initial proposal – which will not be available to the public, will be drawn up in March to allow both sides to ensure all needs are being adequately met.
Once they are happy with the document, an official strategy will be drawn up and public engagement events will be held to allow residents to have their say.
Feedback from the sessions and further statistical data will then be used to draw up a final strategy.
Mrs Jackson said: “It is about changing the way we deliver our services to provide high-quality care.
“That does not mean things have to remain the same as they are now and, further down the line, there might be discussions of some closures.
“I am fully committed in providing high-quality health services to people and if that can be done safely in a different environment, that is what will happen.
“It is not up to me, though.
“We want to be clear that those who form a response to commissioners and decide the best way to deliver our services are staff working on the frontline, so doctors, nurses, consultants, midwives, GPs and more.
“It is critical we make clear that if people need access to a hospital they will get it.
“Five years down the line I can still see NLAG being here, but the way we support health and social care will be done very differently than it is now.”
Keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph for in depth features into the areas being looked at and why the review is needed.