Despite what we can do as an organisation we believe we can’t achieve our goals of saving lives, helping people to stay as healthy as possible and to reduce health inequalities without you. It’s time to rethink how we provide care and treatment and we see a role for individuals, communities, the voluntary sector and businesses.
Patients, the public and health professionals and people who work in related areas have been talking about opportunities to improve care and treatment for a long time. This is the time to sharpen our focus on the potential for major, far reaching changes.
We are determined to work with you to provide the highest quality services. We’d appreciate your views on our plans to deliver our five strategic objectives. These goals were developed by listening carefully to the health priorities of local communities, patients, service users, carers, clinicians and other colleagues.
It’s your health service – what are the opportunities for change? How can you help?
Come along to one of our events or give your views on line Your Say feedback form
- Increasing life expectancy
- Reducing health inequalities
- Improving patients’ experience
- Improving safety
- Better value for money
1. Increasing life expectancy
Life expectancy has been increasing in North East Essex for many years and the prospect of a long and healthy life is better than it has ever been. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal to increase life expectancy faster than current trends.
- Health checks: everyone between the ages of 40 and 84 will be offered a health check to help prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer.
- Healthy living programmes: a range of initiatives from our leading stop smoking programme to schemes encouraging people to cut down on drinking or to exercise more.
- Improving services for people with diabetes, heart disease, stroke and respiratory conditions will save many lives. There have been great improvements recently and we want this to continue. For instance, in stroke care more people are receiving specialised care in Colchester Hospital’s stroke unit.
What are your views on our plans to help people have longer, healthier lives? What else could we do to achieve this goal? Your Say feedback form
2. Reducing health inequalities
The difference between health and life expectancy between our most affluent and deprived communities is stark. On average, a baby born in Clacton’s Pier Ward will die 13 years earlier than a child born in Arlesford.
With the health inequalities in North East Essex currently getting worse, we are determined to improve the health and life expectancy of people in vulnerable groups or living in deprived communities.
Services will be targeted at our most vulnerable groups and deprived communities, a great deal of work will target Tendring. For example:
- Health checks: targeting the uptake of health checks in deprived communities and amongst vulnerable groups as well as using a lower threshold for intervention.
- Healthy living programmes: targeting our services to encourage people in deprived areas to stop smoking and to drink more healthily.
- Hard to reach groups: we will develop services to ensure health checks and healthy living programmes are targeted at older adults, people who are carers, those with mental health problems or learning disabilities and other socially excluded groups.
What are your views on our plans to reduce health inequalities? What else could we do to reduce health inequalities by making better use of NHS resources? Your Say feedback form
3. Improving patients’ experienceIt is vital that local services give the best possible experience for patients, whether this is being able to easily make an appointment with a GP or feeling looked after and comfortable in hospital. Services need to focus on what matters to patients as well as what matters clinically.
- Diagnostic tests will be carried out locally when possible and results will be ready much sooner so decisions about which treatment is best are quicker.
- Everyone will be able to use a GP surgery offering longer opening times
- Everyone will be able to see an NHS dentist
- Hospital stays will be shorter thanks to better care when people go home
- More day surgery and outpatient services will be available locally
What are your views on plans to improve patients’ experience? What else could we do to improve patients’ experience while also making better use of NHS resources? Your Say feedback form
4. Improving the safety of local servicesHealthcare in the 21st Century uses powerful drugs and major operations which can cause harm, sometimes lethal harm. We are determined to make sure our local services are as safe as they can be.
- Reducing hospital mortality and infections: work with Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust to achieve further reductions in hospital mortality rates and infections such as MRSA and C diff.
- Preventing venous thrombo-embolism (VTE): better prevention of potentially lethal blood clots affecting the lungs during a hospital stay.
- Medication side effects: reducing the harm from the preventable side effects of prescribed drugs.
- Safeguarding: we will work with all partners to safeguard children, preventing harm and subsequent long term health problems.
- Out of hours GP services: ensuring continuing safety in this important service.
What are your views on our goal to improve safety? What else could we do to improve safety while using NHS resources more effectively? Your Say feedback form
5. Achieving better value for moneyOur message is simple: we will continue our drive to improve the local NHS and we will do this by radically changing how services are organised so we can use NHS resources more effectively.
NHS funding locally has doubled in seven years. It’s important to remember that NHS funding is still higher than it has ever been. Although NHS budgets are set to increase, demand as our population ages and costs from new medicines and technologies will increase more steeply.
Many of the improvements we’re planning for the next few years will both enhance services for patients and make NHS resources go further. For example:
- Better diabetes care identifies potential problems sooner and avoids the need for costly dialysis or eye surgery
- Healthier lifestyle programmes helps keep people well and reduces the need for cardiology, cancer or stroke care
- More services in community settings means patients’ health needs are better met and in turn, demand for expensive hospital services is reduced. More planned tests and procedures taking place locally also makes services more convenient
- Prescribing generic drugs rather than expensive branded drugs that offer no additional clinical benefit significantly reduces NHS expenditure
- Reducing our running costs by 30% will aim to divert money from administrative overheads into front-line services.
All of this will mean a shift in the centre of gravity in the local NHS to more services in primary care and community settings thus reducing the need for hospital care. We will work with colleagues in Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust to help the hospital make these changes in a way that enables our highly valued hospital services to thrive.
What do you think about our approach to use NHS resources more effectively? What other suggestions do you have? Your Say feedback form