Healthy Conversation 2019
Our most senior doctors, nurses, and health professionals working throughout the NHS in Lincolnshire, have collectively reviewed health care services and are recommending a series of changes to the way in which we deliver care to you. This need for change is outlined in this message.
What is the Healthy Conversation 2019?
Healthy Conversation 2019 is a discussion about what, and how, we need to change to ensure that our health, and health service is fit for the future. It will continue throughout the year. Formally, this is referred to as ‘engagement’ but in practice it’s simply a conversation between the NHS and you, the Lincolnshire public, about what is important to you, what feedback and experiences you want to share, and above all, how you would like to see our health service continue to improve. This is where you come in.
In 2019 we’re asking for your help. We all support the NHS and want to see it improve. A recent Healthwatch Lincolnshire survey highlighted that the public’s top health care concerns included self-care and prevention, cancer and mental health. We want you to continue to tell us what’s important to you so that you can access the right support, take the lead in your own care, and look after those around you.
We will be open about the challenges our NHS faces - such as quality, recruitment and money, and what we can and can’t do. We will share our thinking as early as possible, and be clear about the reasons for it. We will consider all of your feedback and report back on what we did or why we couldn’t act upon it.
Quotes from Clinicians
Dr Sunil Hindocha, GP and clinical accountable officer for NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Healthy Conversation 2019 is a discussion about what – and how – we need to change to ensure that our health service is fit for the future.
“We all want an NHS that helps us to look after ourselves and offering a service to be proud of that provides safety, compassion and accessibility every single day.
“There is lots we are proud of, but know there are areas where we need to change.
“We want to hear from patients, the public, their representatives, our partners and staff so that they can help to shape future plans.
“We want to explain the need for change and the challenges we all face.”
Dr Yvonne Owen, GP and medical director of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, added: “This is a conversation between the NHS and you, the Lincolnshire public, about what is important to you, what feedback and experiences you want to share and above all, how you would like to see our health service continue to improve.
“We will be open about the challenges our NHS faces – such as quality, recruitment and money, and what we can and can’t do.
“We will share our thinking as early as possible and be clear about the reasons for it. We will consider all of your feedback and report back on what we did or why we couldn’t act upon it.”
Why is this important?
We all want an NHS that helps us to look after ourselves and is fit for purpose, offering a service to be proud of that provides safety, compassion and accessibility every single day.
In Lincolnshire, we have many things to feel proud of about our NHS. We have highly qualified and committed people working hard across our services to provide great care to patients every day. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Our GP practices provide 15,000 appointments every day, every week. 500 people attend our A&E departments, and our mental health teams deliver over 800 community contacts every day of the year. This is just a fraction of what we do.
Our community health services trust is rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as ‘outstanding’ and our mental health and learning disabilities trust as ‘good’.
Our Clinical Assessment Service is leading the way in helping patients to access GPs through the telephone or internet, and its clinical leaders sit on the national steering group, advising others how to follow suit. Our successful international GP recruitment scheme has been adopted as a national model, and over 40% more patients coming to the Lincolnshire Heart Centre after a cardiac arrest survive compared to national rates.
We are very proud of all of this and so much more, but like many parts of the country, we have problems too. It is often difficult to get a GP appointment quickly. We cannot recruit enough staff and we are overspent. Our hospitals cancel planned operations every day because their beds are already full, and we fail to hit many important national targets, including those for A&E, cancer and paediatrics. It is simply not good enough for patients, nor for staff.
Without change in the way we use and structure our NHS, our services cannot improve and could be at risk for future generations. We are determined to address these problems to create an NHS that we all want and is fit for the 21st Century. Decisions need to be made which won’t please everyone, but together we will make the difference we need.
It starts with all of us. It’s our health after all. It’s us, our children, our parents, our friends and family, our communities, who use the NHS. We all benefit from having better health and better health services.
The NHS has been changing and adapting ever since it began in 1948. As a nation, we live longer, often with more complex health needs, and so it is vital that our NHS continues to improve to support our changing needs. It is just as important that we play our part. We all know prevention is better than cure, and it is common sense for us to focus together on making this responsibility part of everyday life in Lincolnshire. We all want to live a longer, healthier life.
Another important part of the Lincolnshire vision is often referred to as ‘self-care’; looking after ourselves and each other when something does go wrong and it is safe to do so. This means we are more able to stay at home, where we want to be.
A big factor in our local NHS’ future is the choices we all make when we need to use it. Knowing the right service to use when, and being open to new ways of getting our health care, such as receiving appointments over the internet, going to our pharmacy first or calling 111 will help us receive the right care, quickly.
All of these things will help us work to a principle of preserving our most specialist care for those who really need it. The NHS belongs to us all and so we must all take responsibility for using it in the best way for everyone.
Today, 15,000 people in Lincolnshire see their GP practice team each day. By being clear about the availability of alternatives, such as pharmacists and other community resources, we can still get great care, and improve access to GP appointments when they are really needed.
Although most NHS care is already delivered locally, much more still can be provided in local communities. Our community services are already starting to work differently so that they become our first port of call when we need support. Our community hospitals will play a big part in this care, continuing to develop and evolve as we need them to. Our lead programme, Integrated Community Care (ICC), will deliver joined up care in all our communities across the county.
When we do need to go to hospital, our aim will be to provide your hospital treatment to you without you having to stay as an in-patient wherever possible. When you are ready to leave, we will make that happen without unnecessary delay. This will help us to use our hospital beds and specialist staff more responsibly.
In Lincolnshire, an average of 524 calls are made to NHS111 services every day. We will continue to use NHS111 as a modern, 24/7 access into health care.
Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) will be introduced to provide more urgent care services locally and to ensure our A&E and the specialist staff and resources within them are available for when people are in serious need.
As we focus more on prevention, self-care and joined up local care, our acute hospitals will become more specialised. The NHS in Lincolnshire has been reviewing how some of our hospital services could be better organised in the future to provide improved quality of care and outcomes for patients and address our staffing difficulties. We are sharing our current thinking on this as part of our Healthy Conversation 2019. We want to ensure that our specialist staff working in our hospitals will only see those people with the most complex needs and improve their care.
In the NHS we often refer to this principle as the ‘right care, in the right place, at the right time’. This is common sense, but to achieve this we must all work together and make the right choices.
Statement from John Turner, Accountable Officer
The Overview Statement has been written by John Turner (SRO for the STP and AO for South and South West Lincolnshire CCGs) and introduces the Healthy Conversation 2019. It also describes the challenges that the NHS faces, what is being expected of us nationally and sets out our thinking to date about improvements to services.
We anticipate that ‘Healthy Conversation 2019’ will run into the autumn and there will be a wide range of engagement events and discussions across the county with the public, their representatives, our partners and staff. This will be an open engagement exercise which will shape how we take health and the health service forward in Lincolnshire in the years ahead, and we will welcome wide involvement in it.