NHS England has issued a stakeholder briefing following a recent meeting of the Essex Urology Implementation Oversight Board.
PLANNING WELL UNDERWAY FOR SPECIALISED UROLOGY CANCER CENTRE
Patients from Colchester, Mid Essex and Southend have taken part in a virtual walkthrough of the planned new service for specialised urology surgery in Essex.
The walkthrough included a visit to Southend Hospital when patients measured their journey times and were able to talk to staff about how issues that had been raised through earlier patient and public engagement were being resolved. Their feedback will help ensure the planned new service meets both clinical standards and patient expectations.
At the event, patients and clinicians agreed to meet again after the service had launched to explore how it was working in practice. Ahead of the walkthrough, doctors and nurses from Southend, Colchester, Mid Essex and Basildon hospitals had drawn up plans for the service with commissioners and patient representatives. The group has produced a diagram which shows the stages of a patient’s treatment – setting out what will take place at the new centre and what will remain at the patient’s local hospital.
The diagram shows most patients will see no change to the location of their treatment. For those who will require specialised surgery at the new centre, it shows that they will only need to visit the new centre for the surgery itself – the rest of their treatment remains at their nearest hospital.
The feedback from the patient walkthrough and further input from staff will be used to finalise the new service model over the next few weeks. After final changes are made, the diagram will be published and shared with cancer groups in Essex, along with examples of patient stories to explain the changes to patients. Patient information leaflets are also being produced.
The new, single specialised urological surgery centre will open in spring 2017. Progress was discussed recently at a meeting of the project oversight group which heard that work to integrate IT systems to help with speedy electronic referrals is ahead of schedule and recruitment of additional staff is getting underway.
The centre will provide specialised surgery to around 150-200 prostate, bladder and kidney cancer patients a year. All other aspects of diagnostics, treatment and care for those patients would continue to take place at their local hospital. Clinicians from the Essex hospitals, in particular the urological teams at Colchester and Southend, have already been meeting to plan what the new service will be like and how it will work.
Throughout the development of these plans, guidance has been sought from Healthwatch Essex, Thurrock and Southend on how best to use the experiences of patients. This has included listening to past patients and recording lived experience, use of public venues for public events and suggested content for these events. Healthwatch has also been invited to send representatives to the Implementation Oversight Group and will be asked to feedback on the patient information that is produced, to help ensure patients’ needs and views are fully considered as the changes are planned.
A further update containing information about the service model will be issued next month.
Date: 10 February 2017