We are planning a two phase implementation of the headline strategy described above. In the first phase, lasting two years we will focus on in-hospital efficiency and productivity with the aim of repositioning key clinical services from outliers in terms of benchmarked data (for example length of stay and day case rates) to top quartile.
Included in phase one will be two urgent developments – the Emergency Floor at the Royal Infirmary and the transfer of vascular services from the Royal to Glenfield Hospital. The former is a key plank of the health system’s plan to resolve its longstanding problems with emergency care. The latter will create an integrated cardiovascular service, which will be at the cutting edge of modern medicine and surgery.
Phase two from 2016 onwards is to enact a major reconfiguration of the hospital estate which coincides with other services coming on line in the community, allowing us to safely rebalance bed numbers (i.e. reducing acute bed numbers and making better use of community capacity), and repurpose or move out of buildings which are no longer required and therefore reduce double and triple running costs.
Building on the clearly articulated clinical consensus for reconfiguration we will consolidate our main acute services onto two sites, enabling clinicians and patients alike to benefit from properly co-located services and eliminate the inefficiencies of running multiple acute sites. Included within this would be the development of the new A&E, a new outpatient and day-case hub at either the General or the Glenfield, and investment in new maternity services.
There will be a number of options available which would fulfil this vision and we will work on these with staff, partners, stakeholders and the wider community over the remainder of 2014 and into 2015 to establish these options. Although the Trust will look at all options, the work to date indicates that it is likely that the Royal and the Glenfield will emerge as the two main acute sites.
If this is the case, it would enable the General Hospital site to be developed to further support integrated community services and the Diabetes Centre of Excellence, Leicester Diabetes Centre, as well as continuing to provide a home for East Midlands Ambulance Service and for the existing services provided by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.