I wanted to focus my message this week on a Surrey Heartlands wide event that ASPH hosted yesterday called - Shifting Systems Through Transforming Secondary Care. A chance for the system, with the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), to explore a unique opportunity to radically transform Health and Social Care and the way we work together to better serve patients who traditionally visit hospitals as outpatients.
There was a real buzz in the room and it was a great opportunity to work with the Surrey Heartlands Academy team and an honour to welcome in particular Professor Andrew ‘Bod’ Goddard the President of the RCP and Dr Mark Hamilton, Executive Clinical Director Surrey Heartlands Clinical Academy. The Chairman, Andy Field and Non-Executive colleagues also joined. David Fluck and I facilitated discussions, the Wider Determinants of Health and the Workforce Challenge respectively.
This was a timely conversation - as some of you already know - we are planning to place the Transformation of Outpatient Services and by virtue significant components of other areas of service and clinical delivery, at the centre of our plans for next year.
So what might this look like?
It is estimated that a good proportion of outpatient appointments are made face to face but might not actually add value to the patients care pathway in the way we would hope. We also know that around 10% of the traffic on the roads is NHS related and of course this both adds to congestion and poor air quality but also cost and inconvenience to patients, not to mention the car parking problems!
Many citizens now run much of their lives via their smart device and prefer to do so. We put a lot of resources into outpatients in terms of members of the team, doctors, nurses, therapists, HCAs and administrators but also towards the infrastructure and space. And you all know how short of space we are!
So imagine a world where we only do outpatient appointments that truly add clinical benefit, we incorporate diagnostics into one-stop clinics, we facilitate use of technologies, video consultations, telephone consultations and so on. We could improve patient experience, minimise traffic congestion, ease car-parking making more spaces for Team ASPH, improve the air quality and re-deploy teams, resources and space to make contributions elsewhere. I know these seem like big changes and of course the detail and the impacts on individual clinics and team members will need to be considered and worked through carefully in a negotiated and planned way.
Nevertheless it does seem to me to be a great opportunity to do something really transformational with a range of positive outcomes.
So please get your creative thinking caps on as we will want to develop these ideas together over the next few weeks and months.
In the meantime have a great weekend everyone.
With very best wishes,