NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body has approved a number of resolutions relating to the medium and long term future of some specialist hospital services across the Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal hospital sites.

At their meeting on Thursday 18 March, members gave conscientious consideration to all of the information they were presented with, including the Fit for the Future Decision Making Business Case (DMBC).

The resolutions:

Acute Medicine (specifically Acute Medical Take):

Centralise the *Acute Medical Take at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Emergency General Surgery:

Centralise Emergency General Surgery at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

• Gastroenterology inpatient services:

Formalise (make permanent) the ‘pilot’ configuration (arrangements) for Gastroenterology inpatient services at Cheltenham General Hospital

• Image Guided Interventional Surgery (IGIS):

Create an Image Guided Interventional Surgery ‘Hub’ at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and a ‘Spoke’ at Cheltenham General Hospital

• Centralise Vascular Surgery at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

• Trauma and Orthopaedic (T&O) inpatient services:

Formalise (make permanent) the ‘pilot’ configuration (arrangements) for Trauma at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Orthopaedics at Cheltenham General Hospital

• Planned General Surgery:

Governing Body members also approved a resolution that recommends that further work is done to define a new option to deliver Planned General Surgery across the Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital sites. Local people and staff will be given the opportunity to be involved in this work.

The Governing Body meeting and consideration of the DMBC followed the consultation review period, where Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the CCG looked in detail at the output of public and staff consultation, the Citizens’ Jury reports and public, staff and stakeholder comments following publication of additional information.

The staff and public consultation was quality assured and has been assessed as ‘good practice’ by The Consultation Institute.

Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Seymour said:

“We know the development of specialist hospital services in the county are of significant importance to patient care and governing body members carefully considered all of the information they were presented with before reaching decisions.

We would like to thank everyone who has participated in the Fit for the Future programme over the course of the last few years, in particular community partners, members of the public and staff who have played such an active role in feeding in their perspectives and views through both the engagement and consultation process and have helped shape local services for the future.”

The implementation of the recommendations will be completed in stages over the next two to three years.

Additional information

The Governing Body papers, including the DMBC are available at: www.gloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/category/board-meetings

The Fit for the Future consultation presented options for how some specialist hospital services (see above) could be provided in the future and the continued development of a ‘Centres of Excellence’ approach to care, which reflects the way a number of inpatient services are already provided.

The vision and stated aims within the consultation booklet included:

  • improving health outcomes for patients
  • reducing waiting times and ensuring fewer cancelled operations
  • ensuring the right staff (specialists) are in the right place at the right time, including senior doctors – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • supporting joint working between doctors, nurses and therapists, including links to related services and equipment
  • attracting and keeping the best staff in Gloucestershire.

The consultation booklet described a vision for two thriving, vibrant hospital sites with strong identities and both providing world class treatment.

*Acute Medical Take. Patients with an uncertain diagnosis, who are referred by the Emergency (A&E) Departments or GPs, will be transferred to the GRH Acute Medical Unit (AMU), for example where further specialist investigation is required to determine which specialty team they need to be referred to, or those patients that need to stay in hospital under the care of the Acute Medicine Team.

The NHS in Gloucestershire has made a public commitment to Cheltenham A&E and confirmed their intention to reinstate a 24/7 A&E (nurse led 8pm to 8am) by 1 July.

Cheltenham A&E will continue to provide a wide range of emergency services and be able to resuscitate, stabilise and treat patients as required.