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Clinical services review - FAQ

NHS Dorset CCG is recommending, as part of its clinical services review, that Dorset's major emergency hospital should be situated on the Royal  Bournemouth Hospital site, with the Poole Hospital site designated as the major planned care hospital. The following FAQ aims to answer some common questions. 

 

Q: What is Poole Hospital’s position on the CCG’s preferred option (that the Royal Bournemouth becomes the county’s major emergency hospital)?

A: We recognise the need for change in Dorset’s health system, and have played a full role contribution to the clinical services review.

We believe that the number of key services already provided here, for example our designation as east Dorset’s unit for emergency and trauma surgery, as well as our central location and ability to take on the role of Dorset’s Major Emergency Hospital sooner, places us in an extremely strong position.

We also believe that the increased costs associated in choosing Poole Hospital form just a small fraction of the county’s total health spend over the next two decades.

While disappointed with the clinical commissioning group’s recommendation, and whatever the final outcome, we are confident of a bright and positive future, and will work hard to preserve and build on the high standards and unique philosophy of care that we provide day in, day out to our patients and their families.

 

Q: Why does Poole Hospital have a strong case to be the county’s major emergency hospital?

A: We are already east Dorset’s major emergency hospital, providing trauma and emergency care as the area’s designated trauma unit. For example, more patients undergo surgery for fractured hips at Poole Hospital than at any other hospital in the country – nearly 1,000 every year.

We offer the area’s only inpatient children’s unit, as well as consultant-led births and neonatal care services for sick and premature babies.

The Dorset Cancer Centre at Poole Hospital provides highly regarded and joined-up cancer treatment, including radiotherapy.

Choosing Poole Hospital means less disruption for patients, staff, visitors as it can be delivered faster than any other option. It also means far less disruption to clinical services. To create Dorset’s major emergency hospital, just four services would need to move from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to Poole, but nine would have to transfer from Poole to the Royal Bournemouth.

We’re the most accessible and central hospital site in the county, with great transport links, meaning more equitable access for the whole population.

Our development plans show that our redeveloped site can comfortably accommodate brand new facilities, including a new state-of-the-art maternity hospital compliant with all relevant recommendations and best practice. While development costs may be higher in choosing Poole Hospital, it equates to just 0.2 per cent of the total health spend in the county over the next 20 years.

 

Q: Why has the CCG made this recommendation?

A: The CCG asked clinicians (doctors and other health professionals) to consider a large number of options for how services could be organised. They have recently undertaken additional work to test and inform certain elements of the evaluation criteria, specifically accessibility, affordability and deliverability.

In that work they considered the independent Royal College review of maternity and child health services, travel times by blue light ambulance and how much it would cost to implement the proposals for each hospital. It’s understood that the CCG used this information to arrive at their preferred option and have publically stated that cost and location are the key reasons the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) has been recommended for development as the county's major emergency hub.

 

Q: With our long stated desire to become the Major Emergency Hospital, will the Board challenge this recommendation?

A: It’s important to remember that this is just the beginning of a lengthy process, which will include a full public consultation later this year. Therefore the Trust’s clinical and non-clinical leadership team will consider the best way forward at an appropriate time. In the meantime, we will continue to place on record our ambition and credentials to be the county’s major emergency hospital.

Regardless of the final outcome, we are confident of a bright and positive future, and will work hard to preserve and build on the high standards and unique philosophy of care that we provide day in, day out to our patients and their families.

 

Q: Can all the building work required for the major emergency hospital be accommodated on the Poole Hospital site - there doesn’t seem much space to expand?

A: The Poole Hospital site and buildings have grown and expanded over many years into the arrangement we know today. Because of this, there are large areas of the site which could be better utilised, as well as space used for administrative purposes like offices which do not necessarily need to be in their current location. The old ambulance station off Churchfield Road is one such area, and in our development plans is earmarked to be the site of a new, state-of-the-art maternity hospital.

 

Q: If the changes do go ahead who will manage the services affected in the long-term?

A: This recommendation is only about the site from which services should be delivered in future.  Any change to organisation form or service management arrangements would be the subject of a completely different discussion.

 

Q: Will investment stop now and how can we maintain our services over the transition period?

A: It’s important that we continue to invest in staff and new services. With new nursing staff about to arrive and our investment in a new PET scanner this shows the commitment we have in our services. Longer term there will be undoubtedly more joint planning work with the Royal Bournemouth and Dorset County hospitals if the decision is ratified after public consultation.

 

Q: Why hasn’t the CCG consulted with the public before this announcement rather than afterwards?

A: Since the beginning of the Clinical Services Review, we are aware that the CCG have carried out extensive engagement and involvement with many stakeholders, patient groups and members of the public. The hospital itself has made a full and active contribution to the clinical services review and recently hosted a visit by the CCG we reiterated that we believe that the number of key services already provided here, for example our designation as east Dorset’s unit for emergency and trauma surgery, as well as our central location and ability to take on the role of Dorset’s Major Emergency Hospital sooner, placed us in an extremely strong position.

It’s important that once the assurance phase has completed then the public of Dorset play a full and active role in the formal public consultation. The date for this is yet to be confirmed but the earliest likely date for the public consultation to begin will be in September 2016.

 

Q: Will this recommendation mean that a merger between Poole and Royal Bournemouth is more likely?

A: Currently merger is forbidden by the Competition Commissions (now called the Competition and Markets Authority). At this stage it’s too early to say whether the recommendation made today will change that decision. In the meantime we’ll continue to work with other organisations to improve healthcare services for the people of Dorset.

 

Q: What will happen to A&E?

A: If the decision passes assurance and public consultation then our A&E will be rebuilt, but it will not be a 24 hour consultant-led service or a trauma unit. It will become an urgent care centre (part of the integrated community hub) with consultant input.

 

Q: Why has a decision been announced before our CQC inspection report is published?

A: We have had no control of the timing of the CCG decision. The CQC report is likely to be published later this month and we believe it will show the strengths we have in key areas, including our emergency services, as well as the areas that require improvement.

 

Q: Would Poole have been able to deliver a new maternity unit, wouldn’t it be better to go to RBCH if this wasn’t the case?

A: It’s worth noting that in our presentation to the CCG we clearly stated that if Poole was designated the Major Emergency Hospital that there was space on the current site to allow for all the new clinical areas required. The old ambulance station off Churchfield Road is one such space, and in our development plans is earmarked to be the site of a new, state-of-the-art maternity and child health unit.

 

Q: Will the hospital be initiating any petitions?

A: Whilst we understand the strength of feeling amongst our staff and patients and are grateful for the extensive levels of support shown, we are not seeking to coordinate petitions at this stage.

 

Q: How can I stay up to date with the latest information on the CSR?

A: members of the public can visit the CCG’s website about the clinical services review and hospital care here.

Poole Hospital staff can also use our new intranet portal, created to provide easy-to-access updates on the CSR by clicking the front page link, and look out for updates in our regular staff and public communications.

 

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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