The Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for the Our Health Our Care programme met in public on Wednesday 28 August 2019 to discuss the options development element of the programme.
The committee considered a long list of possible options for future changes to local health and care services, the clinically led process adopted to develop these options as well as the work undertaken so far to review and assess the viability of these options.
The committee noted the current work and recommendations on the options. The committee decided to continue scrutiny relating to all of the options and to examine the possibilities of acquiring significant capital investment in central Lancashire, as part of its continuing open-minded approach.
All of the options developed will be considered equally. No final decisions will take place until a public consultation is concluded.
Further Information – Royal College of Emergency Medicine:
When developing these options, we have continually engaged with independent clinical experts to provide additional assessment and scrutiny. This work involved an assessment of the options and visit to central Lancashire by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM). The Royal College of Emergency Medicine visited both Chorley and South Ribble and Royal Preston hospitals, speaking to dozens of doctors, nurses and other health professionals who provide care for the people of Chorley, South Ribble and Preston every day.
Following this and based on the clinical data they reviewed and their discussions with clinical professionals, the RCEM recommended that in their opinion it would not be ‘clinically viable’ to retain A&E facilities at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital due to staffing issues.
However, the committee accepted the point that the RCEM report is one view which must be considered amongst a wider range of evidence.
Further Information - Options
You can view all of these options here, some of which would require us to consult with the public.
There are a number of important points to note about the options:
- All reflect the founding NHS principles; that care should continue to be provided free at the point of need and based on a comprehensive model of access.
- All options focus on delivering better care, improving the coordination of care between different services and improving outcomes for local people.
- When it comes to hospital services, none of the options propose to close Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital. The possibilities of having one, or two A&Es are being reviewed, as are the possibilities of having different types of A&Es.
- All of the options involving changes would mean that urgent care continues to be provided at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- All of the options would deliver more care closer to home, reducing the costs of accessing healthcare and making it easier to access services.
Alongside this, the committee members also discussed their preference to acquire significant capital investment to improve hospital and community services for the benefits of patients in central Lancashire. They also referenced a previous piece of work, called a feasibility study, which explored this in more detail. This study considered the possibility of developing a new hospital in central Lancashire, in an unspecified location. Capital investment is specific money for buildings and major equipment, such as CT scanners.
At the moment, the programme does not have access to significant capital monies for any of the options. However, the programme will continue to explore all potential routes to acquire this desired investment. In the meantime, we must develop options to best improve outcomes within the existing resources that we have available, based on an open-minded approach, focussed on delivering the best possible clinical outcomes for the people of central Lancashire.
The programme will absolutely continue to engage with all partners across central Lancashire as we develop the options at the next stage of detail. As part of this process further clinical and local authority scrutiny of all the options will also continue.
At this stage, we cannot say when a consultation will take place. This is because we do not know what the Clinical Senate (independent, external scrutiny) will say about the options. We also do not know what the regulator (NHS England) will say about our plans to consult. This would be described in another document called a pre-consultation business case. We also do not know at this stage if more capital money will become available in the near future.
Any consultation which follows will be based on finding out your views on more than one way forward. It is likely that the options currently being considered will be reviewed further to create a shorter list. However, in any event, more than one option will be put forward to the public.
No final decisions will take place until a public consultation is concluded.