About transformation and our journey

About transformation and our journey

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1 July 2022

We know we need to think differently, be innovative, and work together to change health and care services so that Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can become the healthiest places to live and work. Your involvement in our work is helping us to develop future proposals for service change.

Why change is needed

We know we face many challenges and opportunities that will affect our ability to deliver quality services in the future. These include an increasing older population with multiple long-term conditions and care needs, and the impact of a decreasing workforce and vacancies in some key services. We are not alone with these challenges – many areas across the country face the same issues.

Our partners, doctors and nurses agree that people will experience poorer health outcomes unless we take action. We need to plan services for the future to improve quality, using the available budget and resource as efficiently as possible.

We can help to address the challenges and opportunities we are facing by introducing different ways of working and providing services in a more efficient and effective manner; some of these are recommended by NHS England and systems are expected to implement them at the earliest opportunity.

You can find out more about our work by visiting the relevant pages within this section of the website.

Services under discussion

Our work to transform services is not new, but builds on work started in 2016 and has been influenced and informed by the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan in 2019.

The plan has three core objectives:

  • Making sure everyone gets the best start in life
  • Delivering world-class care for major health problems
  • Supporting people to age well.
  • Work to transform services
    • Urgent and emergency care – this programme is about simplifying the urgent and emergency care system in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to remove confusion, make it clear how and where to access care, and help people who are seriously ill, or at risk of becoming seriously ill, to access high-quality care locally, at the right time and with the right professional. You can read about this programme on the urgent and emergency care page.
    • Maternity transformation – this programme looks at the national continuity of carer model which is being introduced across all maternity services, including Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. This follows a national review of maternity services, and the provision of an on-demand service at County Hospital in Stafford and at the Samuel Johnson Hospital in Lichfield. You can read about this programme on the maternity transformation website page
    • Maternal mental health services – this forms part of a national programme set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to enable adults with severe mental illness to access care and support in a new, more joined up and effective way, regardless of their diagnosis or level of complexity. You can read more about this programme on the maternal mental health services page (note – if you are looking for the conversation about inpatient mental health services in south east Staffordshire (previously provided by the George Bryan Centre) see below)
    • Inpatient mental health services in south east Staffordshire – we are working to identify a long-term solution for inpatient mental health services which were provided from the George Bryan Centre until 2019. You can read more about this programme on the inpatient mental health service page .
    • Community Diagnostic Centres – There is a national mandate to improve the way people can access diagnostic services (planned tests and examinations) such as blood tests, scans, urine tests and x-rays by creating Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) in communities so people can access appointments more conveniently. Read about the programme on the Community Diagnostic Centres page
    • Difficult decisions – This programme is focused on standardising the policy and eligibility criteria for five health services (assisted conception, hearing aids for non-complex hearing loss, male and female sterilisation, breast augmentation and reconstruction and removal of excess skin following significant weight loss. Read more about the programme on the difficult decisions page

Our journey

Developing the Case for Change

We started this conversation in 2016 with our original Case for Change ; this was followed later in the year by a series of engagement events led by our local Healthwatch partners to capture local peoples’ views on health and social care services. Our what people have told us so far page outlines examples of the comments received at these events.

At the end of 2016, we published a plan for health and care to work together better.

Over the past few years, our partners have been working closely together through a number of clinically-led work programmes to take this forward and achieve our collective vision: working with you to make Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent the healthiest places to live and work.

Listening exercise

During summer 2019, we held a clinically-led, 12-week public conversation (a listening exercise) to seek views on the local health and care services.

As part of the listening exercise, we described some of the challenges and opportunities we face locally.

You can read more about this work by clicking on the different document links below:

2019 listening exercise

Watch this video about the listening exercise

Delivering change across health and social care services

The conversation in 2019 was the start of our formal involvement process to help us deliver change across health and social care services.

The comments and insights received during this listening exercise were considered by clinicians and managers, and informed the start of the work to develop future proposals for service change, but in early 2020 we had to pause this work to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of that response, some services had to change temporarily. In Autumn 2020, we worked with our Healthwatch, local authority and NHS partners to find out about people’s experiences of these changes.

You can read about this below in people’s experiences during Covid-19. Comments received have been considered as part of the wider transformation of services programmes, helping to inform and shape proposals for future services.

We restarted work on the wider conversation to transform health and care services in Autumn 2021 – at this point, we decided to have conversations about each of the services we were asking about to ensure we could have detailed discussions with patients, service-users, carers, staff and other stakeholders:

  • We asked about people’s experiences of diagnostic services, and you can read about this work on Community Diagnostic Centres
  • We are supporting the Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) with its work to find a long-term solution for inpatient mental health services previously provided at the George Bryan Centre. You can read more about this on Inpatient mental health services in South East Staffordshire
  • We wanted to understand about people’s experience of accessing urgent and emergency care, and continue the conversation about introducing urgent treatment centres to replace walk-in centres and minor injuries units. This was known as the listening exercise refresh and you can read about it by visiting improving urgent and emergency care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

September 2021 Documents

People’s experiences during COVID-19

Our work so far:

Please be aware that due to the current situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) all efforts of local health and care partners are focused on supporting the frontline.

Person getting a vaccine

This means that for a time, other programmes aimed at the long-term transformation of services were placed on hold in March 2020.

We recognise this means that our ongoing work to develop future proposals for service change will be reviewed once the COVID-19 response has eased.

We recognise that this pandemic has affected everyone’s lives and we wanted to understand people’s experiences. Thank you to everyone who has attended our virtual events or taken part in our partnership survey. Your insight will help inform our approach to restoration and recovery.

We recognise that health and care services have had to adapt during this pandemic, and we are keen to continue our ongoing dialogue to understand:

  • What worked well during our response to the pandemic
  • What we could improve
  • What should our priorities be for the future.

You can find out more about what people told us in the following sections. For a short overview of the findings, please see our summary report. This brings together all the feedback from the different events and surveys held across the partnership.

  • Insights of people's experiences during Covid-19

    October 2020

    The Impact on Coronavirus survey, led by our partners – Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent and Healthwatch Staffordshire, as well as Stoke-on-Trent City, Staffordshire County Councils and the NHS – helped us with an understanding of public experience when using health and social care services during the pandemic.

    The report made several recommendations for the health and care partnership to take forward, including communication, support in health and social care, treatment pathways and appointment systems, as well as appropriate and timely care of mental health patients. This report was discussed by the ICS Partnership Board in December 2020 and our system response is attached.

    September and November 2020

    During Autumn 2020, we attended a range of community meetings to gather feedback from both members of the public and local groups on people’s experiences during the pandemic. You can view the full report of findings here.

    August 2020

    In August 2020, we held a stakeholder event with over 70 delegates from local partners, patient groups and health and care staff. This was our first event to listen to people’s experiences during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and understand people’s priorities as we began to restore services following the first wave of COVID-19.

    Priorities identified include restoring services, effective patient communication, mental health and wellbeing, and access to services. Participants also wished to keep some of the new ways of doing things. Although accessing care digitally was found to be a challenge by some, others wish to continue this approach post-pandemic, with reduced travel cited as a real benefit. Some staff members also mentioned remote working as a welcome way forward.

    Following the latest wave of coronavirus, we will continue to listen to people’s experiences as we seek to restore services over the coming months.

    TWB covid reports presentation

Transformation Journey Archive