Monday, 12 December 2016

Collaboration between the three acute trusts - the third priority

The third priority is something to do with supporting the three acute hzospitals in the area to work together.

"Collaboration of the three footprint acute trusts to deliver equality and efficiency".

The CCGs description is:

"Consoloidation of backroom services to ensure high quality and optimise cost effectiveness".

What do I think this means?

To be honest I have no idea but I will try to guess.

Firstly what are the three acute trusts? I assume they mean the hospitals in Oxford , Reading and Buckinghamshire Healthcare (Wycombe & Stoke Mandeville Hospitals). At one time they were meant to be independent and in competition with each other. But things change and now it seems they have to work together to reduce costs.

What do they mean by backroom services? I assume that they mean the services that we, as patients, do not see but are vital for quality care. One service that could be ripe for consolidation (or centralisation or merger) is pathology. These staff in this service do all the diagnostic tests, the blood tests and tissue samples, that help Doctors identify what is wrong with us.

I used to work in pathology and I used to spend hours commuting on the train talking with a colleague about turning pathology into a large industrialised process.  He later went on to work on doing just that and it can work at large scale as long as there is a good courier system and good communications between clinicians and pathologists.

Other services such as personnel (AKA Human resources) and finance could also be consolidated.

What we really want though, is more information and more detail. There are stories that they want to reduce the number of nurses as well as 'backroom' staff.  But that seems crazy as we need more nurses not less for quality care. Of course the real question is can the three trusts work together for our benefit?

So what does this mean for patients. Hopefully it will mean more money for our care but who knows!

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