To provide the Sub-Committee with a narrative which sets out why the NHS is
changing in Oldham, Rochdale and Bury and sets the scene for current and
future service change in the North East Sector of Greater Manchester.
The Sub-Committee gave consideration to a report and presentation led by the Head of Public Affairs, NHS Oldham CCG and the External Partnerships Manager, Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which provided them with a narrative that set out why the NHS was changing in Oldham, Rochdale and Bury, and set the scene for current and future service change in the North East Sector of Greater Manchester.
The session set out the local NHS services and why they are what and where they were. It clarified the national, regional and local drivers for change, and the work completed so far to introduce new ways of working and models of care. It showed how services may start to feel different in the future and how this may affect patients, using case studies. The Sub-Committee noted some ‘myth busters’ about common misconceptions about the NHS.
Members were informed that the update had been developed by the North East Sector Clinical Services Transformation Programme Board as the basis for communications and engagement work with local people (including public and patients, local leaders and influencers and staff) to prepare them for future change This could at a future point entail formal consultation.
Members asked for and received clarification of the following:
· When using the central booking line (choose and book), most people would choose the hospital with the shortest wait time, regardless of where that hospital was, but this was not so easy if reliant on public transport – It was explained that this was being considered. The aim was to reduce the need to go to a hospital in the first place, but consideration would also be given to reducing the need to travel.
· Lack of discharge planning – This would be further investigated. Discharge planning should start from the moment a patient entered a ward. Patients should be safe and supported when they went home.
· GP clusters/Neighbourhood Hubs – some of the areas did not follow natural neighbourhoods and residents did do not understand how the different areas had been linked. This would be raised with CCG colleagues and an explanation requested.
· Speed of test results, GP surgeries were not getting the results as quickly as they could – It was explained that IT issues were being considered with a view to results being reported more quickly.
· Northern Care Alliance timeframe – It was clarified that strategic plans were due to be submitted, however there were no firm dates. Once the strategic plans were accepted, business cases would be worked up. There was currently no firm timeframe.
· Management of the voluntary sector – It was explained that the model being used in Rochdale would be followed. Champions linked to GP surgeries would interact with the voluntary organisations. When a GP identified a patient who might benefit, they would refer to the champions who will make the links between the patient and the community organisations.
· Statement re ‘fragmented services, unfilled vacancies, antiquated estates and struggle to balance the books’. How would the plan fill the vacancies whilst also addressing the deficit – It was clarified that the Trust was looking at different ways to fill vacancies and support staff – helping them to secure housing, supporting aspiring staff to grow/achieve, working with local communities to engage and offering apprenticeships.
· Publicity and simple messages to help the public understand the changes – It was explained that Communications teams were working collaboratively to develop a range of marketing and comms materials, taking a multi-layered approach. The message would be as concise as possible, with further detail available. The offer of assistance from Members was appreciated and the time for going out with messages had not yet been reached.
· Use of facilities at community centres – It was explained that this would be considered as part of the locality plan, which would identify resources and how best to use them.
· Next steps – When the strategic plans had been submitted, this would act as catalyst for further work. An update on the position would be provided in July 2019.
RESOLVED that the contents of the report, presentation and discussion be noted and an update be provided to the meeting of the Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee in July 2019.