Money on its own will not address the problems we are facing. This is not just about money. Staying as we are is not an option. We have to change the way we deliver the services at our two hospitals to make sure we provide high quality, safe services for all patients for the long term.
Across the UK, there is a severe shortage of healthcare staff. When we look at certain services, such as A&E, the situation is even worse. Having two hospitals offering the majority of the same services on both sites means that some of our consultants are providing support ‘out of hours’ far more frequently than their colleagues in other hospitals. This makes our hospitals a less desirable place to work and therefore difficult to recruit new staff. It is also difficult to keep our staff as some leave to take up jobs at other hospitals where they can enjoy a better balance between their work and their personal lives.
In addition to this, the needs of people and their expectations have also changed. Evidence and guidance tells us that we need to deliver as much of the care people need at home or as close to home as possible. When people come to hospital, we need to have all the relevant specialists in the same place so we can see, assess and treat them as safely and quickly as possible, and where appropriate help them to get home without delay.