I am writing to you in response to an article you may have seen in the Liverpool Echo regarding the future of Liverpool Women's Hospital.
Liverpool has a long history of a focus on women's health and we are very proud of the services we deliver to women and their families in Liverpool and beyond.
Healthcare should never stay still. Here at Liverpool Women's we are looking at how we can further develop our services and continually improve our outcomes to ensure they are the very best they can be for future generations of women and their families. We are actively participating in the Mayor’s Health Commission and the city wide Healthy Liverpool Programme, which encourages all health service providers in the city to think about the future of their services and how they can best drive improvement in health outcomes for the people of Liverpool.
We also know that our services must be financially sustainable and deliver value for money. Despite being a very efficient provider of services, like many other NHS organisations we are facing a significant financial challenge in the next five years and if we are to protect and develop our services further, we need to be financially stable. A large contributor to our financial position is our dedication to providing safe staffing levels to ensure the very best experience for our women and their families. In the summer we made the decision to invest over £1.4 million in recruiting more midwives and neonatal nurses to help us to achieve this – we knew that this would impact on our overall financial position, but we are not and never will be prepared to compromise on the safety of our patients and staff. We will continue to invest in staffing when required to help us provide the very best services to our patients.
Over the last nine months, we have been working hard with our clinicians to develop the 'Future Generations' strategy, particularly focusing on:
- What is required to safeguard and develop our services
- How do we further improve our already great outcomes for women and babies,
- How can we deliver care differently, closer to home wherever possible,
- Can our services and our patients benefit from partnerships with other providers and organisations.
Our 'Future Generations' strategy is to explore all of the viable options for our future to enable us to protect and enhance those aspects of Liverpool Women's that are most valued by our patients and our staff. This is what makes for a unique care experience for the women and families who use our services.
The next stage in the history of Liverpool Women's may see us relocating to an acute hospital site in the city so that our patients and staff can benefit from all that comes from being in close proximity to other services. Regardless of where our services are delivered from, they will always be there and will always be delivered with the ethos that the people of Liverpool and beyond have come to expect, and love, from Liverpool Women's. We see lots of opportunity with more services being delivered in the community and in partnership with others.
Our Board of Directors has now formally agreed that work proceeds to develop options for the future, based on strong clinical evidence and quality standards. Over the coming months, we will be speaking to our patients and our wider communities to ensure they have a voice in the shape of their services for the future.
Dr Joanne Topping, Interim Medical Director at Liverpool Women's, said: "This is an exciting time for Liverpool Women's and the people of Liverpool, as we start to actively develop the next phase in the history of the city's women's health services. We are confident that our patients, our staff, our partners and our commissioners will engage with us in redesigning and developing our services for the future to make them even better than they already are."