Staff across Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group have been making final preparations to consolidate vascular, orthopaedic and interventional radiology services at specialist hubs, in the first wave of improvements for patients this winter. The plans will dramatically improve care and outcomes for more than 1.2 million people who live in mid and South Essex.
So what are the changes?
There will be a new Vascular hub at Basildon Hospital. The hub will centralise emergency vascular surgery at the hospital, providing a better experience and better outcomes for patients across mid and south Essex.
Vijay Ghadvi, clinical lead for vascular services explains, “The opportunity for patients is phenomenal. Patients will be able to come to a single site where they will receive comprehensive care under one roof, with input from all specialities, clinical, nursing and allied health professionals. It’s also a great opportunity for staff to develop their aspirations and education, and network together with colleagues in our local, regional and national health environment.”
Final preparations are also being made at Braintree Community Hospital, so they can be ready to welcome patients from Southend and Basildon who are waiting for urgent hip or knee surgery and choose to have their operations there. Southend Hospital is prepared to receive patients who need specialist spinal surgery.
Greg Packer, clinical director for musculoskeletal services, “For most patients, nothing much will change – we want to keep as much care as possible local. But for certain specialist procedures, and to help reduce the amount of time some patients are waiting for planned operations, we are consolidating some services at Southend and Braintree.”
Final plans are also underway for our emergency interventional radiology (IR) services, which will be hosted at Basildon hospital. A seven day IR service is currently offered Monday – Sunday, (9am – 5pm) and rotates across sites at the weekend. The new IR hub will deliver a seven day, out of hours emergency service hosted at Basildon hospital. The in-hours (9am until 5pm) IR service provision will remain locally at each site. Patients will also benefit from improved patient safety and will be able to receive their results quicker as reporting of MRI, CT and plain film radiography will increasingly be performed in-house.
Dr Qaiser Malik, clinical director for interventional radiology services, said: “What many people may not realise is that until now we have had no formalised out-of-hours service for our mid and south Essex patients. This means them having to be transferred to Queen’s or London hospitals for an emergency service – or wait until Monday, increasing the time they stay on wards without progressing treatment. Our new hub, with its new equipment and technology, immediately speeds up the process for patients, it will reduce delays and get them back home quicker.”
All of these changes are the result of the hard work and passion of the clinical, nursing and operational teams responsible for those services, and the launch of these new centralised services this winter represents the completion of the first phase of work to design new, sustainable, high-quality care for the people of mid and south Essex.