Help shape the future of hospital services

Healthcare professionals across South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and Chesterfield are coming together with patients and the public to help shape how hospital services could be delivered in the future to ensure local people continue to get safe, sustainable, high quality care.

The first step will be to look at how current hospital services are provided and what needs to happen to future proof them, taking into account local and national issues such as rising demand, workforce and resource challenges and consistently delivering quality standards. The aim will be to ensure patients and local communities have access to appropriate, safe, high quality care and that improved ways of working are developed to ensure existing staff are retained as well as hospitals being able to attract the best possible staff in the future.

The piece of work will not look at closing any of the current general hospitals in South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw or Chesterfield.

The decision to work collectively across South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and Chesterfield has been taken to ensure that it is local healthcare professionals, public and patients that drive changes moving forward and that we have services tailored to local needs.

The detailed work that will begin this week (27 October 2017) will explore how five services could be delivered to ensure local people have access to safe, high quality care provided by the most appropriate healthcare professional and in the best place. The services are: urgent and emergency care; maternity services; hospital services for children who are particularly ill; services for stomach and intestines conditions (gastroenterology), including investigations (endoscopy); and stroke (early supported discharge and rehabilitation). The decision to examine these five services follows conversations with senior clinicians, the public and detailed examination of information about these services including patient and staff experience of the services and other underpinning data.

This work will be independently led by a former Vascular Consultant and Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Senate Chair Professor Chris Welsh, who spent many years delivering care in our region. Professor Welsh said: “I know first-hand that we have some excellent health care services in our region that are among the very best in the NHS but we also face some significant challenges over the coming years. If we’re to continue to provide high quality and safe care in the future and continue to attract high calibre staff, we cannot rest on our laurels. We need to use the expertise and knowledge of our healthcare professionals along with the views of the people we care for to inform how we deliver services moving forward.

“I want to be very clear from the outset that this piece of work is not about closing any of our local general hospitals. We want to keep services as local as possible where it is appropriate. We will also be focussed on retaining our existing staff and how we create opportunities which attract new staff too. This is about making our services fit for the future. By ensuring this work is led and informed from the very beginning by our healthcare professionals and patients and the public we can ensure this is the case for these services. It also gives an opportunity to look at how best we implement some of the things which we have already been told by patients that they want. For example we know from the national report Better Births that people want their maternity services delivered in a different way and our healthcare professionals have already started working with mums, their families and staff to put the recommendations from the report in place.”

There will be a number of clinical working groups looking at the service areas in detail and at the same time there will be a number of opportunities for patients, public and healthcare staff to give their views too. The work will take place over the next 6 months and conclude in April 2018.

Dr Des Breen, Medical Director for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Health and Care Working Together Partnership added: “As a clinician, I want to ensure all patients receive the best possible care. However, there are local and national factors that we need to consider as we look at how we can continue to give our patients the right care, at the right time and by the most appropriate healthcare professionals. This piece of work is an opportunity for the people who work in the services, along with patients and the public who use the services, to help shape how we do this. I would urge everyone to take time to get involved and give their views on how best we can shape our care moving forward.”

The work is just one part of the overall approach. At the same time as the review, work is underway to develop more and more ways of treating and caring for people in their homes and local clinics, so that they don’t need to go to hospital.

When the work concludes in April 2018 it is anticipated there will be a series of recommendations about what changes could be made to future-proof the services. If those recommendations are accepted full public consultation would take place.

Patient, public, clinicians and staff are invited to get involved. In the first instance this is via an online and paper-based survey. Please contribute to the survey here: or request a paper copy by calling 0114 305 4487 or emailing

A public event is also being held on 6th December at The Source, Meadowhall. In addition, opportunities to have conversations with local people in each of the towns and city in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw are being set up and will be publicised on the Health and Care Working Together website. If you would like to express an interest in attending the event please contact

Notes to Editors

a. The independent work will report back to the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Health and Care Working Together Partnership. The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Health and Care Partnership is one of the first Accountable Care Systems (ACS) which have been created in geographical areas across England to drive forward joined up, better co-ordinated care breaking down the barriers between GPs and hospitals, physical and mental healthcare, social care and the NHS.

b. Previously Professor Welsh was a vascular surgeon before becoming a senior medical manager in the NHS, including Medical Director for NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, Director of Education and Quality at Health Education England. Currently he is the Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Senate.

c. The work will take a whole view of stroke services, including acute stroke care, inpatient rehabilitation, early supported discharge, community stroke rehabilitation and transient ischeamic attack (TIA) services. Hyper acute stroke services and proposals to provide them differently across the region have already been widely consulted on and will not form part of this study. A decision on hyper acute stroke services will take place in November 2017.

d. Mid Yorkshire Hospitals are included within the scope of the work because there are some patients who live in Wakefield who access South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw hospitals and vice versa. The hospital is within a different NHS region which is also looking at how it can improve services by working differently. Some of the services have already been consulted on in Mid Yorkshire and we will not be making any recommendations that would change services already agreed.

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