Challenges and opportunities
Creating tomorrow's healthcare today - our key challenges and opportunities
Serving a population of 313,000 we operate on the lower end of the ideal scale for a full range of District General Hospital services which nationally is seen as a 450,000 - 500,000 population base. The trust is also surrounded by trusts serving population sizes of similar size so there are opportunities to collaborate to provide services.
There are a number of core business opportunities open to the trust (that will support the reduction in the cost base and deliver income generation and which we can implement ourselves) including:
- Site reconfiguration – using our two hospital sites in the best possible way to be more efficient
- A new model of ambulatory care – reducing the need to admit patients from A&E to hospital
- A new model for complex discharges - ensuring that our beds are not blocked by patients who have completed their hospital care but cannot go home as they are waiting for community care packages
- Service expansion – growing our services in key areas – service wise and geographically.
We have already identified a number of ways that we can be more efficient. A focused programme to drive performance in these areas will be put in place. A programme of medical productivity will need to be designed and executed change in ways of working.
The scale of possible internal productivity gains is between £5.9m and £20m. However, our overall financial challenge requires us to find at least £56m of savings over the next five years.
We will need to take three steps to deliver these outcomes over the next five years and our strategy is structured to reflect these three steps:
- A sustainability and transformation programme focused on ensuring profitability and efficiency over years 1 and 2 by improving our productivity, controlling costs more effectively, improving our estate, modernising our IM&T platforms and bringing back activity to the trust from other hospitals wherever possible. This will happen over the full five years life of this strategic plan with the early years work enabling further development and modernisation
- A modernisation programme which encompasses modest service level growth, growing levels of collaboration and - where appropriate - integration with other healthcare providers on particular services
- A strategic change programme to deliver stability beyond year five, which includes the development of a range of strategic partnerships whereby we work differently with others to ensure services are run at lower cost.