Why we need to change

There is a widely publicised, national case for change regarding why the NHS across the country must improve and transform. Key national challenges are well known; recruiting and retaining staff, changes in the way people use the NHS, increased demand for services and patients living longer and with more complex conditions.

Within Lincolnshire, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) provides a wide range of acute hospital services to our population. This consultation relates to four NHS services currently provided by ULHT. Some people in Lincolnshire receive their hospital care from NHS trusts in a neighbouring area (eg. North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough in the south of the county, and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust in the north). This consultation only relates to four ULHT NHS services.

The quality and long-term sustainability of services within ULHT is critical for Lincolnshire’s community. To support ULHT to address the national challenges and improve services we need to change the way they are currently delivered. This public consultation is focused on improving this quality of care, and retention and recruitment of staff, rather than on financial savings. If we improve these four NHS hospital services, we believe there will be:

  • Shorter waiting times for planned orthopaedic procedures in Lincolnshire
  • Fewer cancellations of planned orthopaedic procedures in Lincolnshire
  • Better urgent and emergency care for patients across Lincolnshire
  • Better outcomes for Lincolnshire stroke patients
  • More integrated community and hospital medical services
  • Quicker access to specialist staff across these four NHS services
  • Clinically optimum hospital stays for recovering stroke patients
  • Reduced risk that Lincolnshire would lose these services if they become unsustainable
  • Increased ability for the NHS in Lincolnshire to attract new staff to work in the county
  • Better retention of staff already in the county, as they would be working for more sustainable and progressive services
  • Reduced spend on temporary and locum staff to fill gaps in the rota, caused by too few permanent staff to fill it

Our vision is to deliver the very best in health and care for people across Lincolnshire, and we seek to continuously improve services wherever we can.

This consultation is focussed on these four NHS services because we believe that significant and permanent change is required to them. Such change would ensure that the highest possible standards of patient care are provided in line with clinical evidence and best practise, giving the best possible outcomes for patients.

We believe that the benefits of changing will include:

  • Improving health outcomes for patients
  • Reducing waiting times for services
  • Increasing the number of staff available to care for patients in these services
  • Reducing unnecessary spend of NHS funds on temporary, locum or agency staff

If we don’t improve these services, there is a continued risk that the quality of care the services provide to patients would deteriorate. In addition there is a risk that the staffing levels needed to provide the service will remain below that required. If these issues are not addressed, these services will remain unsustainable.

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