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Why we need to change

In this section:

The way we deliver health and social care services has to change to make sure it can meet the current and future needs of people in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield. No change is not an option.

Our local population is growing and ageing: our illnesses are different and people’s expectations of health and social care are growing. We know people want more care services closer to, or at, home and a choice about how, when and where they’re treated.

People need more support to live healthier lives and we also have unacceptable inequalities in health across our area.

 

Dr Steve Ollerton explains the need for change in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield.

We face quality and safety challenges as some of our services do not comply with national guidance, the number of patients dying in our local hospitals is higher than average, too many patients are re-admitted to hospital within 30 days of being discharged, too many stay in hospital longer than they need to and too many patients have told us they simply don’t have a good experience in our hospitals.

Healthcare has advanced greatly in the last 15 years and we need to ensure that our local health system adapts to meet these and future advances so that our patients get the latest treatments and have the best chances of good outcomes when they become very ill.

Workforce shortages mean a number of our hospital services are having serious problems in recruiting and retaining staff and we are struggling to meet national guidance and recommendations for some services.

These staffing issues are compounded by the difficulties in providing split services in two different hospital sites.

We are facing a very difficult financial situation and without change our health system will become financially unsustainable. This means we will not be able to afford the improvements needed to deliver consistently safe, high quality, sustainable care for those patients that need services the most.

The cost of health and social care across Calderdale and Huddersfield is now more than £400 million a year. Growing demand, price inflation and the costs of new drugs and treatments mean we need to look at how we spend budgets to get maximum benefit for everyone.

Direction of national health policy – there is new national guidance for urgent and emergency care and for seven day working for the NHS. We have been following this guidance in developing proposals for a new model for hospital and community health services.

Huge advances in medicine have changed the way we treat illness and injury; we have a growing and an ageing population; our illnesses are different and people’s expectations of health and social care are growing. We know people want care closer to, or at home and a choice about how, when and where they’re treated.

So we need to ask some serious questions:

  • How can we do things differently but maintain high quality services?
  • Can we keep people out of hospital for everything but the most serious illness by improving the way we care for them at, or closer to, home?

We asked for your views and feedback to inform key decisions that need to be made about future services.  Thank you if you completed a survey or sent in your comments.