Consultants have their say on hospital changes

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Dr Nigel Taylor, and Dr Julie O’Riordan, consultant anaesthetist and divisional director for surgery and anaesthetics explain how separating planned and unplanned care would improve quality and safety of services.

The NHS in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield are proposing changes which they believe would improve the quality and safety of health services in our area.

Under the proposed changes, all emergency, acute and high risk care would be brought together at Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH). The Acre Mills, Huddersfield, site would be developed as a new, state-of-the-art hospital and become the main centre for planned care for the people of Calderdale and Huddersfield.

There would be additional travelling for some patients who live in Calderdale and their families and carers. However, people from both Calderdale and Huddersfield already travel between sites for planned care.

Planned care is the name we give to routine procedures and operations that are planned in advance and don’t need to be done as emergencies.

These procedures require an overnight stay in hospital. Planned operations include procedures such as hip or knee replacements.

Many patients who have an operation date arranged get very frustrated when it is cancelled at the last minute because an emergency has cropped up, or because there are not enough beds available for surgical patients, due to the number of medical admissions.

That’s why we have developed a proposal to separate planned care from emergency care.

Having a separate centre means that patients’ surgery is more likely to go ahead on a convenient, planned date.

Patients requiring more complex planned surgery or emergency surgery would have their care at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Day case surgery (where patients come into hospital on the day of their surgery and do not need to stay overnight afterwards) would be available on both hospital sites.

Dr Julie O’Riordan

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has problems finding and keeping staff in some areas and is struggling to meet national guidance for some services. We cannot let that continue when we know that we can improve.

Under our proposals, we would have a state-of-the-art hospital in Huddersfield with dedicated beds, theatres and staff. It would feel very different, to the experience that patients have now.

Separating serious emergencies from planned care would mean patients attending for planned operations would not have their care affected by the need to prioritise seriously ill emergency patients.

This would improve the quality and safety of services.

NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG are urging people to have their say on proposed future arrangements for hospital and community health services in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield.

These are the biggest potential changes to the NHS in a generation. Completing the survey is the formal way of making your views count. You can complete the survey online at www.rightcaretimeplace.co.uk . Copies are also available at GP practices, libraries, health centres and hospitals, or you can call 01484 464212.