Created on 8 August 2017

Supporting transformational change in Essex hospitals

In June 2015, mid and south Essex was designated ‘Success Regime’ status – one of three areas in the country where fundamental transformation of both in hospital and out of hospital services is needed if they are to continue to effectively serve the ever-growing health needs of the population. Here, Claire, one of our associates tells us how she went about managing the project.

The programme for complete system system transformation is huge and involves many different projects – from primary and community care workstreams to specialised hospital services. In October last year, I was approached by Enable East and asked if I would be involved as a project manager in the Vascular, Ear Nose and Throat and Interventional Radiology clinical workstreams.

The task: to get clinicians from the three hospitals of Basildon, Broomfield and Southend to talk together about their surgical specialty; identifying what already works well and what doesn’t, propose how their service could be improved by working more collaboratively and how their own service could be reconfigured across the three hospitals to improve quality, safety and patients’ experiences.

Wholescale change is daunting and, for vascular surgery in particular, came with a lot of history of past service reviews which had never been enacted. The challenge of getting clinicians to talk openly, collaborate with their colleagues in the other hospitals and agree on a proposed way forward could not be underestimated.

With project support from myself, after much deliberation and discussion, the clinicians in their own workstreams of Vascular, IR and ENT came up with proposed models of how services could work in future. The work involved:

  • Looking at each service and how it was currently working, including activity, capacity and workforce issues
  • Identifying the issues and challenges to improving the service
  • Appraising the benefits and weaknesses of all the options for change
  • Looking at best practice from around the country and national guidelines
  • Being mindful of the principles of Essex Success, particularly around how emergency and urgent care might be provided in future in mid and south Essex
  • Finally, agreeing on a proposed model to take to colleagues for further discussion

We agreed that the best way to present the work of the clinical workstreams was to produce ‘Vision’ documents – discussion documents which were distributed across the three hospitals for colleagues in co-dependent specialities to comment on. We devised a system where people could feedback, including an online survey.

The documents were widely welcomed and gave the clinicians something tangible to demonstrate progress and discussions within their workstreams.

The Essex Success work continues apace. Feedback to the three ’Vision’ documents is being collated and will be fed into continued discussions about how – and from where – hospital services may be provided in future.


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