From Halima Rashid, Programme Director
The Planned Care Programme aims to deliver interventions that: place more people within the right service first time; improve access into community and secondary care services; increase the likelihood of earlier diagnosis and treatment; and also offer patients maximum opportunity to self-manage, where feasible.
Fragmentation and inconsistency are a challenge across pathways. Local residents face lengthy waiting times for services and there is an imbalance in waiting times between specialities. Benchmarking demonstrates that Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have opportunities to reduce variations in pathways for planned care services.
The provider landscape is complex, with delivery of services from multiple sites and the flow of Staffordshire patients outside of the county. Our system has varying challenges, such as capacity and demand mismatches, a need to reduce the increasing demand on the system from all tiers of care, and consistency of elective services across all providers. In many specialties and most providers, national Referral to Treatment (RTT) standards are not being met, with most of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs breaching the RTT targets. These variations result in poorer outcomes for patients and a higher cost to our system.
In the short term, priority areas will promote services that are delivered as part of integrated pathways across primary, community and hospital services, where evidence proves that this is the right thing to do.
Over time, the ambition is to increase self-management and shared decision-making, redesign referral pathways, transform outpatients and reduce unwarranted variation. This will be done by consolidating diagnostics, enhancing marketing management to maximise NHS capacity, reducing long waits, maximising referral standardisation guidance and putting in place phased plans to reduce face-to-face appointments and review theatre productivity.
The immediate priority (which was the focus of a clinical workshop held on 17 January 2020) will be the redesign of MSK services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, which remains one of the biggest areas of spend for elective care services. We now need to consolidate the outputs of various reviews and diagnostics undertaken and deliver a single plan to future-proof services, release efficiencies and improve outcomes for patients. This will progress during 2020/21.