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First future hospital project sites chosen


25 September 2014

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Four NHS trusts across England and Wales have been selected as Future Hospital Development Sites as part of the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) project.

Four NHS trusts across England and Wales have been selected as Future Hospital Development Sites as part of the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) project.

The RCP’s Future Hospital Programme aims to improve the quality of services and bring care closer to patients whether they are in the community or hospital.
From 20 NHS trust applications, four were chosen to implement the new programme focused on improving care for frail older people.
Chair of the Future Hospital project board and RCP clinical vice president, Dr Anita Donley, said: “We promised that the Future Hospital report wouldn’t languish on a shelf, and we are keeping that promise with our…health improvement initiatives.  I’m delighted to welcome the first four development sites to the Programme – together we’re harnessing the enthusiasm and willingness of NHS Trusts to innovate where it matters – in improving direct patient care”
Three of the projects will focus on developing care of older people, while the fourth will try to improve efficiency of acute medical admission services, by integrating several admission and assessment pathways on a single emergency floor.
Future Hospitals officer and consultant physician, Dr Mark Temple believes the selection of trusts in an “exciting stage” in the development of this plan.
The trusts involved in the innovative project are:
1.     Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
The objective is to bring specialist care within reach of those living considerable distance from hospital in rural Wales.
The project will be led by Dr Owen Williams, with the aim to improve access and enhance response to healthcare needs of the elderly
2.     Mid Yorkshire Hospital
Dr Dinesh Nagi will lead the team to develop an older people’s assessment service, as part of an acute care facility.
3.     Royal Blackburn Hospital
The emphasis for this trust is on integrating community teams by working in partnership with primary, community, social and mental health care services
4.     Worthing Hospital
Streamline care, through efficient and safe clinical management of patients is the main goal.
This will be achieved through an early physical assessment of those admitted and reduced transfer of patients between teams
Honorary Secretary of the British Geriatrics Society, Dr Adam Gordon said: “The focus of the report of the Future Hospital Commission on delivering high quality care to patients with multi morbidity and frailty was very welcome.  It's great to see that these first four development sites have a strong focus on optimising care for older people, with geriatricians and their specialist multidisciplinary teams playing a key role. A challenge for implementation of the Future Hospital recommendations going forward will be ensuring that other hospital specialists interface with and support these types of services. All physicians need to recognise the importance of supporting the acute medical take if we are to make the strides forward in quality which the report envisaged.”
Chair of the NHS Confederation’s Community Health Services Forum, Matthew Winn, said: "The absolute essence of the NHS is that we want people to stay healthy, and live in as good health as possible, for as long as possible. All over the country, community-based health services are already supporting people to stay healthy in their own homes, preventing ill-health and preserving independence.
"Patients and their families tell us they want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, and get care in their community when they need it, so it is absolutely right that the RCP's Future Hospitals programme will focus on improving how frail older people are supported. Getting the right care at the right time, in the right place, for frail older people requires focus and investment in community-based care, not further reliance on hospital buildings. Focusing on frail older people once they have already been admitted to hospital is too late.
"My hope is that this phase of the Future Hospitals programme will help demonstrate the value that community health services can contribute to the health service of the future. What is equally important, however, is that we ensure the full range of services that support frail older people are joined up, including local government services and other parts of the NHS. Successfully bringing healthcare outside hospital walls must involve all elements of the health, care and other support services."

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