With the entire country facing an unprecedented challenge in its war against Coronavirus all efforts of local health and care partners are focussed on supporting the frontline.
This means, for a time, other programmes aimed at the long-term transformation of services are being placed on hold.
Together We’re Better, the local partnership bringing together NHS, councils, independent and voluntary organisations serving Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is therefore delaying a number of activities.
Dr Steve Fawcett, Together We’re Better’s Clinical Director said: “We have been developing some really important proposals to improve health and care services, ranging from simplifying urgent care to establishing permanent solutions for the services provided from the George Bryan Centre which was hit by a fire last year. But they require direct input from clinicians, and at the moment they really all need to be concentrating on fighting a pandemic. It’s a case of prioritising.
“And at a time when people are being advised to isolate it would be wrong to be directing effort at workshops and face-to-face engagement.
“That means work planned for later this year is being put on hold. It is still really important that it happens, but it won’t be until it’s safe to do it. We’re not setting ourselves any deadlines yet because no-one knows how long it will take to defeat this virus.”
Simon Whitehouse, Together We’re Better’s Director said: “We’d really like to thank everyone who has participated in our engagement events, such as the extensive Listening Exercise we held last summer and the maternity transformation workshops we were running until last month.
“Our promise to you is none of your input will go to waste. However, now is not the time for undertaking more engagement or analysis. Now is the time for us to fully get behind, and support, all frontline services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. At the same time we will undoubtedly learn a lot about our system from this current effort.”
Simon added: “In the meantime, we cannot be any clearer or stronger in our message to each and every one of you to follow the Government and NHS advice on staying safe, isolating and looking after the most vulnerable. Please take advice from official sources and not social media.”
Information and advice can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/