NHS England has awarded University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) £750k to extend psychiatric liaison services in the emergency department at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. This means they will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The award is part of NHS England’s new delivery plan to push through the changes set out in its Five Year Forward View.
The trust has already extended its psychiatric liaison service into evenings and weekends, as a result of the work of the Improving Care in Self-Harm Health Integration Team (STITCH HIT). The STITCH team had identified that most people attending the emergency department following self-harm did so outside the normal weekday, 9am-5pm service. Funding secured from Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group enables the service to go some way towards better meeting the needs of these patients. The new funding will build on this successful foundation which has saved the trust £170k a year.
The award is part of a larger NHS England investment to meet the priorities of patients and the public across the region over the next two years by better integrating health and care services. Patients in the South West will see services increasingly delivered in a joined-up way, helping to deliver greater access to services in primary care and in patients’ own homes, as well as more options for accessing urgent care.
Two-and-a-half years on since the publication of the widely-welcomed NHS Five Year Forward View, the NHS Delivery Plan sets out the changes which will take place across the health service in key areas, including:
Dr Caroline Gamlin, Medical Director for NHS England in the South West, said:
“This announcement sets out how services will be improved for patients over the next two years, whether it’s better access to family doctors, cancer treatment or mental health care.
“We’ll be working closely with local health and care leaders and frontline staff as they now work in partnership to deliver on the priorities that patients and members of the public have told us matter.”
The national plan – Next Steps On The NHS Five Year Forward View – sets out the imperative to break down barriers between NHS organisations and wrap services around patients. It describes how learning from the 50 ‘vanguard’ projects across England – including those at Yeovil and South Devon and Torbay – will be adopted by Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships to provide better care for older people by bringing together services provided by GPs, hospitals, therapists, nurses and care staff, cutting emergency admissions and time spent in hospitals.
The plan also sets out how national and local bodies will take action to increase efficiency and tackle waste to make money invested in the NHS go further in delivering the services and staff that patients want, including the latest treatments and technology.
Launching the Delivery Plan, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said:
“Heading into our 70th year, public support for the NHS is as strong as ever but so too are the pressures on our frontline staff.
“Today we chart a course for practical care improvements for the next few years. We do not underestimate the challenges but, get these right, and patients, staff and the tax-paying public will notice the benefits.
“The document outlines significant progress made over the last three years, including record high cancer survival rates, 8,000 extra doctors and nurses, the first ever waiting time standards for mental health treatment being introduced and met, and cutting waste – in particular agency staffing bills.
“It also, however, frankly sets out where progress has not been as quick, with rising pressure on A&E and acute wards partly caused by delayed transfers of care.”
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said:
“We welcome this delivery plan, and will work with NHS England to ensure it is delivered successfully and engages with patients nationally and locally.
“This is essential both to ensure that the importance of change is understood by everyone, and to get input from patients about how new and re-designed services can meet their needs.
“We call on decision-makers nationally and locally to support this process, to ensure that NHS services work well for patients now and in the future.”