Over 70 staff from all backgrounds and areas across the Trust recently came together in a Clinical Summit to understand in more detail how the healthcare we provide needs to transform to meet patient needs and expectations, learn how Liverpool Women's fits in with the new NHS structures, hear from the people who pay for the majority of the services we provide (our commissioners) and think about what we could do better, more of or differently to ensure we are able to continue to provide high quality healthcare for women, babies and their families.
Patients were at the heart of our thinking when asking ourselves the question 'what would make a positive difference to both their experience and clinical outcomes?'. The level of positive motivation and energy in the room to take the ideas forward was a clear sign of the passion I know our people have for Liverpool Women's, the services we provide and the people for whom we provide them.
This was just the start of a long journey which will be continuous in thinking about how we ensure we provide services for patients which are of high quality, in the most efficient way. All teams are now considering what they can do to take these ideas forward.
Putting the patient at the forefront of the way we design and deliver healthcare services was the key message from everyone in the room. We heard the commissioners of our services (the people who pay us to provide health services) speak of the desire to reduce unnecessary hospital attendances, deliver care closer to home wherever possible and develop pathways of care that reduce duplication and inefficiency, and deliver better outcomes.
We need to be as efficient as we possibly can be in order to start to think about how we might deliver our services to women and their families in different ways. The scope for efficiency reduces over time and that is why it is important that we have robust plans in place to transform the way we provide care.
Our people are on the front line and will see where we can eliminate waste and duplication, and identify the opportunities to do things differently. Our people know what makes the biggest differences to patients and what are the frustrations and irritations in our systems. If we can collectively eliminate these and make our patients’ journeys efficient, smooth and effective, we will deliver cost savings as a by product of an improved experience.
We cannot operate in isolation. If patients are put right at the front of our plans, then we must work with our partners across the health service in reshaping services. That involves working with the commissioners of our services, our patients and their families and other healthcare providers, including those in the private and voluntary sector, to ensure that the NHS is getting the best possible outcome for every £ it invests in services. In the new NHS, there is a greater role for General Practitioners, who will be working in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and making decisions about where to spend NHS £s to get the best outcomes for patients. We need to build constructive relationships with these GPs and the CCGs to ensure Liverpool Women's is recognised as the place to come for women's healthcare.
This isn't going to be easy. At times it will be difficult for us all. However, it is heartening to see that through the very positive discussion started at the Clinical Summit and the ongoing conversations through our clinical divisions, there are already opportunities to work differently being identified. These focus on improving quality, providing the best patient experience and represent good value for money.