Bucks pa­tients’ healthy out­look

Strate­gic net­work to make ser­vices more ef­fi­cient

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

A NEW strate­gic net­work which aims to make health ser­vices in Buck­ing­hamshire­clearer, more ef­fi­cient and sim­pler for peo­ple to use has been launched.

The Thames Val­ley Ur­gent and Emer­gency Care Net­work, which had its in­au­gu­ral meet­ing last month, is made up of mem­bers from across the health and so­cial care sec­tors.

Chief clin­i­cal of­fi­cer of NHS Chiltern Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group An­net Gamell has been ap­pointed as its chair­man.

The role of the net­work is to re­view ser­vices and cre­ate ‘joined up’ work­ing mod­els across the re­gion – mak­ing them more fluid and straight­for­ward for peo­ple to use or be sign­posted to.

This would mean bet­ter in­te­gra­tion be­tween A&E de­part­ments and other ser­vices that pro­vide and sup­port ur­gent treat­ments, and en­sure peo­ple un­der­stand how to make bet­ter use of op­tions such as phar­ma­cists and out-ofhours GP ser­vices.

One of the long-term goals of the net­work is to cre­ate a clin­i­cal hub made up of a wide ar­ray of ser­vices that will have the NHS 111 num­ber as the main point of ac­cess for mem­bers of the pub­lic.

The net­works were set up fol­low­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion from Sir Bruce Keogh’s re­view, which pushed for geo­graphic ar­eas to work to­gether to link up their ur­gent care ser­vices.

Th­ese net­works op­er­ate at a strate­gic level, over­see­ing and guid­ing the way ser­vices op­er­ate across their re­gion. Each net­work can cover a pop­u­la­tion size rang­ing from one to five mil­lion.

About 80 del­e­gates at­tended the launch event at Lane End Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, which pre­ceded the in­au­gu­ral meet­ing of the net­work last month.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a range of or­gan­i­sa­tions at­tended, in­clud­ing health providers, ser­vice com­mis­sion­ers, GPs, acute hos­pi­tals, men­tal health ser­vices, so­cial care, phar­ma­cies, med­i­cal com­mit­tees and the Health­watch group.

Dr Gamell, who has a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in in­te­grated and ur­gent care, said: “It’s a priv­i­lege to be chair of this new or­gan­i­sa­tion and it was very ex­cit­ing to see so many par­ties work­ing to achieve this joined up idea of co­or­di­nated care work­ing.

“There was lots of en­thu­si­asm from the del­e­gates. Our aim is, where pos­si­ble, to be proac­tive and change cases of ur­gent care into planned care by en­sur­ing the root causes of pa­tients’ con­di­tions are iden­ti­fied early and treated ac­cord­ingly.

“The Thames Val­ley Ur­gent and Emer­gency Care Net­work has a huge role to play in bring­ing more clar­ity and sim­pli­fi­ca­tion to the way our ur­gent care sys­tems work.

“We also want to cre­ate some stan­dard­i­s­a­tion, and guide­lines for ter­mi­nol­ogy and broad rules for what dif­fer­ent ser­vices can of­fer so the pub­lic can un­der­stand what dif­fer­ent ser­vice op­tions of­fer. The net­work also gives us the chance to co­or­di­nate a lot of care cen­trally, with­out dif­fer­ent ar­eas over­lap­ping and do­ing es­sen­tially the same thing, in­creas­ing health ser­vice ef­fi­cien­cies.”

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