A process to review local NHS services gets underway this week.
Shaping Care Together is a programme run by local NHS leaders across West Lancashire, Formby and Southport that seeks to ‘futureproof’ NHS services by exploring new ways of working, as well as utilising money, staff and buildings to maximum effect.
It will prepare our local NHS to meet the challenges of the future – both those we know about and those that cannot be foreseen – delivering high-quality services that are affordable, efficient and, above all, safe.
It will also look at ways in which the NHS can deliver more services in the local community.
An initial round of engagement earlier this year saw hundreds of responses from local people and groups, raising issues as diverse as the quality of hospital buildings and car parking, right the way through to how different parts of the NHS can be more joined-up and how we can best help patients to manage long-term conditions.
Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, Trish Armstrong-Child, explained: “The NHS is always evolving as we make use of the latest technologies and clinical developments. So, from time to time, we need to take a detailed look at the services we provide and the resources we have and look for the best ways of delivering them in the future.
“This means putting safety at the heart of everything we do, as well as maintaining the highest possible standards. The Trust has been really successful at doing just that in recent years, but as Covid has shown us, we need to look ahead at the challenges we know about – as well as those we don’t – and prepare now.”
She added: “We have seen over the past year just how brilliant the NHS is at responding to emergencies, so we need to ensure we are able to do that in coming years as well. Of course, we also have to work within the financial package we are given and deal with a challenging situation in terms of the national shortages of qualified staff, which are issues for the entire NHS.
“Shaping Care Together does what it says on the tin. We want to hear what people really value about the NHS. There is so much support for what we do, but we are always looking to make things even better, so we want people to fill in our questionnaire and tell us about the improvements they want us to make.”