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Trust gives reasons for approving "new clinical strategy"

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Video of public meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall

NHS North West London


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Today our Trust looked at plans for how to develop our healthcare services and our four hospital sites over the next five years.

We have developed these plans because we have to change to meet the changing needs of our patients. People are living longer, and more and more people are living with long-term conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma and dementia. So we can’t stay as we are – we need to look forward to what people will need from us in the years to come. Our plans are part of a wider programme of health service developments, called Shaping a healthier future, covering the whole of north west London.
We understand local people are worried about what happens to hospitals and other health services in their area,  and want to know what they should do in an emergency, or where they should go if they need regular, hospital care. None of our plans mean cutting back on NHS care – it’s about providing care differently so that you get the right care in the right place at the right time.

Under our plans, we would redevelop our sites: selling off some of our land, but using this money to reinvest in the same sites – redesigning and rebuilding them so they cater better to your healthcare needs. It means investing £400m in this redevelopment, primarily at the Charing Cross and St Mary’s hospital sites.

Here are some of the facts:

• We are not closing Charing Cross Hospital. We are planning a £150 million rebuild to create a new type of local hospital, with specialist and planned care including: day case surgery/treatment, one-stop diagnostic clinics and outpatients services, integrated care and rehabilitation services (especially for elderly people and people with chronic conditions) and an emergency centre, next to our existing partner services that include mental health and cancer support.
• Although our A&E is closing at Hammersmith Hospital on 10 September, our urgent care centre isn’t –it will now be open all day, every day. This means you can still go to Hammersmith Hospital 24-hours a day if you have an urgent health concern. If you call 999 in an emergency, you’ll continue to be taken by ambulance to the best place to treat your particular condition in your area. For example, if you have a stroke you are taken to the stroke centre, currently at Charing Cross, if you have a heart attack, you are taken to the heart attack centre at Hammersmith Hospital, if you are involved in an accident and have multiple and critical injuries, you are taken to the major trauma centre at St Mary’s Hospital.
• We are working closely with other parts of the NHS to determine how our emergency services will develop at Charing Cross Hospital – but we will keep local people informed about and involved in any changes and what they’ll mean for you. We have not agreed any plans to close Charing Cross A&E.
• We are not closing our stroke service but we are planning to move it to St Mary’s Hospital over time. This means it will be near to our major trauma centre so we can provide safer care and have more specialists working together to provide better care.
• When we make changes to bed numbers at our hospitals, we make these decisions based on what services the hospital provides as well as how many people need them. When you hear bed numbers are reducing, it doesn’t necessarily mean we plan to treat fewer people – it means we’ll treat them in a different way or different place.
• It’s our aim to provide the type of services that allow people to stay healthier for longer, and avoid needing to be admitted to hospital by helping people manage their conditions well at home.

We want to thank everyone who came to our Board meeting today to show their support for their local hospitals. The board approved a new clinical strategy and agreed that an ‘outline business case’ – setting out the case for the investment in the hospital redevelopment – would proceed to the next step for approval. We anticipate it will be at least a year before this business case is approved. We recognise that to develop our plans further and to implement them successfully, we need to do much more to explain our thinking and to listen and respond to the views and concerns of patients and local communities. And we have to make sure that we have community capacity in place before we reduce inpatient hospital services.

Read more about strategy proposals

Read more about how your A&E is changing

August 1, 2014