NHS England Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has met with senior leaders of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to find out more about the transformation work taking place across the organisation to deliver real change for patients.
Sir Bruce, who has been one of the leading drivers of change across the whole of the National Health Service over the last decade, attended a meeting of 140 clinicians and managers at The James Cook University Hospital on Wednesday 6 December.
There he reflected on the work of the NHS to date – and what more needs to be done – as part of a speech entitled ‘What would Bevan do now?’ before meeting teams in several departments across the hospital which have been instrumental in service change and innovation.
“I’ve been looking forward to taking my final trip over to Middlesbrough as national Medical Director – South Tees is a great organisation that is nationally recognised for its transformation work,” he said.
“If Nye Bevan were to come back now, he would want the NHS to adapt its services so they are set up for the people we see today and that’s the type of work that is happening here.
“The NHS needs to heal fractures between services and tear down those administrative, financial, philosophical and practical barriers to the kinds of services our patients want us to deliver. We need to free our staff to innovate according to what the public needs.
“We must seize this opportunity to bring the NHS into the 21st century by addressing the challenges this new world brings. The chance is there to build a health service that is as Nye Bevan wanted; to prevent illness where possible and treat it effectively when required.”
Over the last three years and as part of its recovery programme, the Trust has transformed the way it works in a number of key service areas including how patient flow is managed throughout the organisation and making better use of theatre capacity. This in turn has helped to deliver £87.9million of productivity and efficiency savings to date.
One of the areas Sir Bruce visited was the Emergency Department, which is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top performing trusts for its Accident and Emergency performance.
There clinicians talked about the Trust’s ‘Front of House’ model, which includes a Rapid Access Frailty Assessment Unit, Ambulatory Care and Acute Assessment and Acute Medical Units and has been designed to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, helping to reduce unnecessary delays and admissions in hospital.
Chief Executive Siobhan McArdle, who extended the invitation to Sir Bruce, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sir Bruce to the Trust. We are incredibly proud of our organisation and the significant progress we have made over the last three years, not least given the financial pressures we face, and that’s a testament to the dedication of all of our people who work tirelessly to improve both our patient outcomes and patient experiences.
“We will continue to build on our transformation work and remain resolutely focused and committed to providing outstanding care to the patients we serve.”