Clinical Services Strategy
Pausing work on our clinical services strategy
Over recent months, we’ve been engaging with residents, stakeholders and staff to understand their experiences of health and social care and how they think we can improve services. This formed a large part of our work to refresh our ‘clinical strategy’ – a plan which sets out how we deliver hospital services in the best way, for local people, that are sustainable for the future. Thank you to everyone who has been involved.
We must take the time it needs to get this right. Due to the challenges of the new Omicron variant of Covid 19, and the operational pressures of winter, our clinical teams need to focus on providing the best possible care for our patients. This means we need to pause any further work for now.
We’d like to take this opportunity to share what you’ve told us so far.
We worked hard to ensure as wide a range of residents and stakeholders could be part of the process, taking on board the learnings from previous work, and were delighted so many of you chose to share your views.
We’d like to thank our partners, including our local authority and Healthwatch colleagues, for their support in promoting the opportunities. A highly visible campaign, targeted social media adverts, tailored messaging for our community groups and working closely with our faith leaders, resulted in more than 1,200 responses to our online survey. You can read the results of the survey which looked at your experiences not just in our hospitals, but across a range of healthcare services such as GPs and pharmacists.
More than 50 of you attended our series of virtual listening events across each of our boroughs, where we found communication was a consistent theme; we’re looking to see how we can start improving this now. Other priorities included reducing waiting lists, improving GP services and the need for mental health facilities. Read more in our report.
Our strategy cannot focus on our hospitals in isolation – we must work very closely with our Health Scrutiny Committees, Health and Wellbeing Boards and the Borough Partnerships to address the challenges in health and care for residents. The views of our stakeholders have been invaluable, and we thank them for their commitment. Their insights have already helped to identify several opportunities.
And of course, a huge thank you to our staff, our Patient Partners and our clinical strategy champions for sharing their ideas and for their support in delivering the programme to date.
Matthew Trainer, Chief Executive, said: “We must make sure our clinical strategy meets the needs of local people, and with the current clinical pressures we need to dedicate our time to provide the care our residents need.
“We’ve made good progress in recent months which will hold us in good stead when we restart the work. I’d like to thank our residents, stakeholders and staff who’ve been involved so far and I look forward to progressing this work together next year.”
Our public listening events - October 2021
Knowing what’s important to our communities and where they think we should focus our attention is crucial and we’re continuing to engage to help us better understand how we can improve services.
In recent weeks we’ve held an online survey and received more than 1,200 responses. Thank you to those who completed it, as it helped us initially understand how people access care in our hospitals and in the community.
We’ve also hosted three virtual public events and the great discussions helped us gather valuable insights.
We look forward to keeping you updated and sharing the next phase of engagement with you, as we refresh our clinical strategy.
If you couldn’t join one of our events, recordings of the three sessions are below.
Monday 18 October 2021 - Barking and Dagenham
Tuesday 19 October 2021 - Havering
Thursday 21 October 2021 - Redbridge
2019 - the start of refreshing our clinical strategy
Developing our clinical strategy
Since our last strategy was published in 2016, there had been growing demands and increasing pressure on both our hospitals, and with the population set to continue increasing over the next decade it was vital to take a look at our resources and how they were being used, and importantly how they would be used in the future.
We therefore set out to ensure we were effectively designing and delivering services to meet the challenges and changing needs of our patients in a clinically safe and sustainable way for the future.
The work was led by our clinicians and staff, and we initially worked with our partners such as GPs and local authorities, to ensure our patients could be treated by the right person, in the right place, at the right time – whether that’s in a hospital or not.
This initial phase of the strategy development involved collecting a wide range of views and evidence to get a complete picture of our services as they were and understand the things that were likely to change over the coming years.
We collected data and information to develop a set of ‘fact packs’, which fully detailed the status of all our services. We did this through a series of interviews, workshops and surveys.
Engaging on our emerging ideas
Once we had collected all of this information and we had a sense of our current status and how things may change in the future, the next phase was to hear from residents and patients – the very people who use our hospitals and other local health services – to better understand what mattered most, and to hear ideas about how we could improve or make services easier to access or better for patients.
To do this we held a listening event in each of our three boroughs, and found them to be incredibly helpful – we are very thankful to everyone who took part.
There were lots of useful conversations about a range of topics, concerns and suggestions, including population increase, the wider healthcare system and how it works together (or doesn’t!) advancements with technology, ED attendances, patient struggles with multiple appointments, and partnership working.
From the entire range of data collected we created a draft proposal – however, as mentioned above, wasn’t able to progress this due to the Covid-19 pandemic.