Work moves forward to ensure Shropshire has safe, high-quality and sustainable services

9 March 2017 3:18pm

Further progress to ensure Shropshire NHS services are safe, deliver improved outcomes for patients and are affordable have been outlined by GPs and health commissioners leading the work.

NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) met today to review progress on projects which will ensure services are sustainable and deliver value-for-money.

Dr Simon Freeman, the CCG’s Accountable Officer said: “Demands on our health services are growing and we to ensure that are sustainable for the future. That means we will be reviewing a wide range of services over the coming months and making sure that they are really delivering for patients.”

Progress in several key areas was outlined today:

  • Community Services

A Shropshire Community Services Review is being launched to look at a number of areas with a focus on minor injuries units (MIUs) community beds and Diagnostics, Assessment and Access to Rehabilitation and Treatment (DAART) centres.

The review will look at how well they are used, the quality of service they deliver for patients and whether improved outcomes could be obtained with more efficiently.

A wide range of opinions will be sought, including from patients, the wider public, staff and local GPs. It will allow the CCG to look at options and begin to make decisions during the summer months.

  • Medicines Optimisation

Work is being undertaken to determine whether the £50 million per year spent on prescription medication in Shropshire is providing the best value-for-money. This will concentrate in a number of areas to ensure that patients receive the medicines they need.

It will also look at whether some medicines are being unnecessarily over-prescribed and help ensure that GPs always prescribe the more cost-effective option if differently branded versions of the same medicine are available.

  • Midwifery Led Units

A review has begun looking into the future clinical and financial sustainability of Shropshire’s rural midwifery service. The scope of the review will consider factors including safety, clinical outcomes, finances, staffing and utilisation.

  • Elective Orthopaedics

Shropshire CCG currently spends £54m a year on our Musculoskeletal (MSK) pathway, which is considerably higher than other comparable CCG areas. We want to explore, where appropriate, other alternatives to surgery such as physiotherapy that deliver better outcomes for some patients.

We will not be reviewing thresholds to surgery. Where surgery is the most appropriate option this will continue to be readily available for patients.

Dr Julian Povey, Clinical Chair of Shropshire CCG said: “We have a responsibility to ensure that we use all our resources in a way that best meets the needs of our population.

“Demands are increasing and that means it is crucial that we deliver NHS services and support in a way that is safe, provides the best outcomes and is financially sustainable.

“Today we have updated our Governing Board on how we shall review a number of high-profile services. Reviews of this kind will become part of our normal business because it is crucial that we constantly challenge whether the NHS is performing to its maximum potential.”