Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MG NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Report on hospital services welcomed
A RADICAL report calling for hospital services to be re-designed based on the needs of patients has been welcomed by health chiefs in Worcestershire.
The Future Hospital Commission – set up by the Royal College of Physicians – says a major revamp in structures is needed to bring care to the patient.
There must be closer working with health teams in the community, while patients should not move beds unless their care demands it, the report says.
Its authors, from across the NHS and social-care sectors, say this is particularly important for frail people with complex needs, who often face multiple moves once admitted to hospital.
Among new roles it says should be created are a “chief of medicine”, to have ultimate responsibility for all adult patients with a medical illness and who would operate under a “buck stops here” approach.
Specialists should visit patients on the wards where they are, rather than the other way round, and the commission also calls for seven-day working to become commonplace.
It says it is better for hospitals to work at 80 per cent capacity across seven days rather than the two-tier Monday to Friday and weekend divide that currently exists in many hospitals.
The report, hailed by health secretary Jeremy Hunt as “bold and refreshing”, also says there should be an end to the notion of “discharging” patients from hospitals.
It says nowadays a large proportion of patients need ongoing care and planning for care when they leave the hospital setting should start as soon as they are admitted.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Worcestershire Royal, has welcomed the report and its recommendations, which it says are “centred on the need to design hospital services based on the needs of patients”.
Medical director Mark Wake said: “This report echoes the trust’s direction of travel and we welcome it.
“We particularly welcome the acknowledgement that care should be provided seven days a week and the desire for hospital medical teams to work closely with GPs and those working in social care to make sure patients have swift access to specialist care when they need it, wherever they need it.
“We are establishing a medical division that will be led by a clinical director, which is equivalent to the chief of medicine outlined in the report.
“We are also working with our partners to provide seamless medical care both in hospital and in the community.”
Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, which is responsible for community hospitals and community care teams, also welcomed the calls for a new approach.
A spokesman said: “We welcome the commission calling for a new way of thinking when it comes to caring for people, and with our partners in the local health system, we are working to develop our community-based services which support people at home, or closer to home.
“We know if we get this right we can reduce demands and pressures on acute services and a provide a better all-round experience for many patients who don’t necessarily need to be in hospital.”
Comments are closed on this article.