Following engagement with recent patients, staff and partner organisations, we are testing changes to the existing configuration of trauma and orthopaedic services across our hospitals in Basingstoke and Winchester, to understand the potential impact of centralising some of our trauma and orthopaedic services.
The changes will see us treat all trauma patients who require an emergency inpatient stay or surgery on broken bones at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital (BNHH), with Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH), in Winchester, becoming a centre of excellence for hip and knee replacement surgery.
We will be monitoring a wide range of quality and experience measures to ensure we see positive results and are able to quickly address any negative impact.
More information about the proposed changes can be found below.
Why did you need to change the way you deliver trauma and orthopaedic services?
We needed to make changes so we can:
- provide on-site, orthopaedic consultant cover seven days a week for major trauma work (for example fractured hips following a fall or broken bone injuries that require an operation and stay in hospital)
- provide dedicated staff, beds and theatre time for urgent trauma operations to reduce delays for patients
- create a centre of excellence for hip and knee joint surgery (known as arthroplasty)
- significantly reduce the number of patients whose operations are postponed due to emergencies, particularly in the winter months, by separating it from urgent trauma and surgical work which often has to be prioritised over non-urgent (routine) operations
- reduce the waiting times for planned (elective) orthopaedic operations as a result of less operations having to be postponed and re-scheduled
- reduce the time frail elderly people are in hospital following orthopaedic trauma operations, through dedicated rehabilitation therapy and specialist ortho-geriatric doctors and specialist nurses.
- Improve outcomes for patients being treated for a hip fracture (often called a fractured neck of femur)
- respond to recommendations made by the National Clinical Director of Clinical Improvement (Professor Tim Briggs) that were made following a review as part of the ‘Getting it Right First Time’ programme
- continue our plans to have services local where possible, whilst centralising services where necessary (for example where it is clinically appropriate or a specialist requirement).
What are the changes?
The key elements of our new service model are listed below.
- Trauma patients (adults and children) whose injury requires an operation and stay in hospital will be re-directed from Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) for treatment in Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital (BNNH), as it is already a trauma unit, or an alternative acute hospital with the right specialist consultant capability and capacity.
- A dedicated ambulance will transfer any trauma patients who arrive at the RHCH emergency department (either by ambulance or through their own transport) and are then assessed as needing an operation and stay in hospital, to our dedicated trauma ward at BNHH.
- Trauma and orthopaedic consultants will be available at BNNH seven days a week specifically to see and treat trauma patients, with ring-fenced beds and theatre time.
- Patients who require hip and knee joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) will be treated at RHCH, where a dedicated centre of excellence unit will be developed. This change may be phased to allow time for additional bed and theatre capacity to be available.
- Elderly frail patients will receive treatment for fractured hips at BNNH and may then move to The Firs, a new transitional short-stay unit on the BNHH site, with additional ortho-geriatric support and advanced nurse specialists to enhance their rehabilitation and reduce the time they spend in hospital.
- There will be no change for patients having other orthopaedic surgery or appointments, including outpatients, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
- Trauma and orthopaedic consultants will still be on-site at RHCH five days a week, and there will be provision for on-call cover for inpatients and the emergency department when it is needed at night and weekends.
- Patients will still be treated in both Winchester, Basingstoke and Andover for minor trauma that doesn’t require a stay in hospital (including simple fractures and sprains requiring a splint or plaster cast).
- Patients will still be able to have their outpatient and follow-up appointments at Andover, Basingstoke or Winchester.
- Rehabilitation services will still be available for patients at Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester.
- Planned operations, except for hip and knee joint replacement, will still be carried out at Winchester and Basingstoke.
- There will still be an emergency department at BNNH and an emergency department at RHCH.
What are the benefits?
This new way of working is expected to deliver a wide range of benefits including:
- on-site, orthopaedic consultant cover seven days a week for major trauma work
- less delays for patients waiting for urgent trauma operations
- creation of a centre of excellence for hip and knee joint replacement surgery
- significant reduction in the number of patients whose operations are postponed due to emergencies, particularly in the winter months
- shorter waiting times for planned (elective) orthopaedic operations
- quicker recovery and improved outcomes for frail elderly people after being treated for a hip fracture (often called a fractured neck of femur).
Is centralising in this way the right thing to do?
Our extensive engagement around the concept of a critical treatment hospital showed that there is public and stakeholder support for the principle of centralisation of acute services.
The principle of centralising some services is already in place for patients in need of cardiology (centralised in Basingstoke) and stroke care (centralised in Winchester).
Centralisation of trauma and orthopaedic services has already been successful in many other Trusts, including Cheltenham and Gloucester, East Kent and the United Lincolnshire Hospitals.
While there is a case for a complete hot / cold split (with all trauma done in one hospital and all elective (planned) operations done in a separate hospital), additional work and engagement has already shown that this will not be possible without the significant investment of a new hospital building, which is not financially viable. We have therefore refined the service model to enable as much specialist centralisation as is practical (in line with recommendations from NHS England’s Director of Clinical Improvement, Professor Tim Briggs, the NHS long term plan and our clinical strategy) whilst still retaining local services where possible.
What do you mean by ‘testing’ the proposed changes?
As with any service change of this scale, it will be important to test it thoroughly.
Before changing the service model, we consulted with our staff and updated our practical operational procedures so we are very clear about how we will see and treat the patients whose pathway into our trauma and orthopaedic services has changed. We also talked to patients to get their views and understand the potential impact on them and their families.
Through the testing phase, we will be monitoring a wide range of quality and experience measures to ensure we see positive results and are able to quickly address any negative impact. This will include seeking feedback from our patients and staff.
How is ‘testing’ any different to just doing it the new way?
There are a number of things we just won’t know until we start working in this new way. By ‘testing’ the proposed service model first, we can:
- closely monitor the impact – both positives and negatives
- act quickly to refine, change or stop the new service model if necessary
- give additional support to staff from senior managers and clinicians
- encourage staff, patients, partner organisations and the public to give feedback based on real experience
- ensure we are able to listen to feedback more quickly
- expand our new procedures so they cover a wider range of scenarios.
How are you going to monitor the impact of the change?
We are monitoring the quality of the service through a range of quantitative and qualitative measures to ensure that any unforeseen consequences are recognised and addressed at the earliest opportunity. The national ‘Getting it right first time’ team has also recommended some performance indicators that will demonstrate a range of benefits to patients that we will be able to compare against our past and current performance.
How long will you be testing the new way of working?
We are planning to review the impact of the new way of working by Spring 2020 and hope to finalise the new service model during Spring 2020.
Will you really stop the testing phase if it doesn’t work?
We are very clear that if the changes do not bring about the anticipated benefits, we will stop and revert back to our current service model until we can find a way that works. We will do this by working with the national ‘Getting it right first time’ team and other Trusts where centralisation of trauma and orthopaedic services has already been successful, including Cheltenham and Gloucester, East Kent and the United Lincolnshire Hospitals.
How will patients get to Basingstoke hospital if they arrive at Winchester hospital and should have gone to Basingstoke?
Once the emergency department team at Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) have agreed that it is necessary and safe for a patient to be transferred, they will arrange for an ambulance to take them to a bed that will have already been reserved for them.
If it is medically safe to do so, patients may be able to arrange for a friend or relative to drive them to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital instead of going in an ambulance. However, patients will not be able to drive themselves. The nurses will let you patients know if this is an option for them.
What if I don’t want to go to Winchester / Basingstoke?
We believe the proposed changes will be better for patients, with services local where possible and centralised where necessary (for example where it is clinically appropriate or a specialist requirement).
Both Winchester and Basingstoke hospitals, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, are run by the same NHS organisation. These new arrangements will ensure our patients receive assessmkent and treatment by senior trauma and orthopaedic doctors - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We understand, however, that people may have concerns about the practicalities of visiting a different hospital. We therefore want to engage with patients, their families/carers, the public and community and voluntary groups to understand those concerns and how we can overcome them – by changing elements of the proposed new service model, with support from partner organisations or through additional or new information, signage and support.
Where possible, we are asking patients to provide feedback about their experience of the new way of working and its impact on them and their families.
If you would like to give your feedback, please use the links below:
If you have general feedback about the new way of working, please complete online survey on the right hand side of this page.
How have you involved people in the development of your plans?
We have already engaged with a wide range of stakeholders (staff, patients, carers and partner organisations) and held formal consultations with directly affected staff and directly affected medical staff as each group.
We did this to:
- find the right balance of specialist centralisation and local services
- ensure any changes will work practically and safely
- get feedback from a wide range of stakeholders so we can fully understand the potential impact, so these can be addressed or minimised.
Now that we are testing the new way of working, we are asking patients to provide feedback about their experience and its impact on them and their families.
If you would like to give your feedback, please use the links below:
If you have general feedback about the new way of working, please complete the online survey on the right hand side of this page.
An overview of our engagement plans were included in the paper that went to the Health and Social Care Select Committee on 16 September 2019.
What will you do with the feedback you receive?
We plan to consider all the feedback together so that we are not considering any points in isolation, especially as they could collectively provide better ideas and options.
We will, however, regularly monitor the responses we receive in case there are any questions that we can helpfully answer straightaway, either individually or through FAQs.
We will use the insight we get from the feedback from the wide range of people and groups we engage with to shape the details of the final proposals. We will also use the information we receive to carry out an equality impact assessment.