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Working together - clinical services review

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recently announced its preferred option for reconfiguring acute hospital care in the county, as part of its Clinical Services Review. The review aims to ensure that health and social care in Dorset is sustainable and organised in the best way possible to provide services efficiently and effectively to those that need them into the future.

The CCG’s preference is for the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to become the county’s major emergency hospital, with Poole Hospital the major planned care centre.

The need for change is clear, and all parties – including Poole Hospital - are in complete agreement that we cannot go on as we are and should work together for the greater good of our shared local population.

Our preferred option would see Poole developed as the major emergency hospital, and since the announcement we have been actively listening to the views of a variety of individuals and groups, including our staff and partners in the wider NHS as well as local authorities.

It has become increasingly clear that the view of the majority of our partners is that it would be better to develop the Royal Bournemouth Hospital for this purpose, given that it is less expensive to build on that site. It is also fair to say that from the perspective of our partners, there is not such a significant difference in accessibility between the two options as we had believed to be the case.

At the same time as reflecting on the views of our partners, we have become increasingly aware of the need to press on swiftly in our work to establish sustainable solutions within Dorset – and given our financial position, this has to be a priority for the Trust.  It is therefore in the interest of Poole Hospital – that is, our services, staff and patients - to get on with implementing the Clinical Services Review as quickly as possible.

Our teams will be working with colleagues at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to develop joint plans for separating emergency and planned care between the two sites.  Clearly, it is important that we play a full part in developing these plans in order to minimise disruption and avoid further delays at the end of the consultation period, should the CCG’s preferred option be endorsed.  As part of this work, it is also important that we further develop our plans for the major planned care hospital, which will be playing an equally vital part in the future configuration of services in Dorset. It is important to remember that no final decision has yet been made, and no changes can start to be implemented until after full public consultation - currently planned for the autumn.

As we have stated previously, Poole Hospital will accept the final decision once this is made at the end of the consultation period.  It will then be many years before all the changes envisaged within the Dorset Clinical Services Review are completed.

Regardless of the outcome of the review, there remains an exciting and positive future for Poole Hospital.

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

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