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Southend University Hospital launches the Medical Model project

04 June 2015

Health Care

Southend University Hospital has launched the first stage of its Transformation Programme to improve the care and experience of patients and to meet some of the challenges the NHS will face over the next few years.

Despite significant recent improvements and the many compliments our staff receive on a daily basis we know we need to do more if we are going to be able to continue to provide the best possible service for our patients in the years to come.

The NHS faces very significant challenges with increasing demand, more complex treatments and less money to go around. New and more effective treatments and investigations are becoming available, almost on a daily basis and it is vitally important we continue to keep up with these changes.  Southend Hospital has a proud history of being at the forefront of many of these developments, adopting new techniques and developing and embracing new ways of working. The transformation programme we are launching today builds on this tradition of innovation.

This is the first stage of a comprehensive programme that will see many changes in the way services are delivered. The programme consists of a number of clinically led work streams which over the next year will review the way we work in all parts of the hospital. We will be drawing on the experience of our own staff as well as looking at what we can learn from others to improve the way we deliver care for our patients. The programme will also include significant additional investment in diagnostic facilities and new treatment techniques. The changes will be aimed at improving efficiency, reducing delays and enabling patients to be treated faster with more patients being treated at home or an outpatient basis rather than staying overnight in hospital.

Over the coming months the trust will be rolling out a number of clinically driven projects, the first of which ensures more rapid assessment for patients who come to the hospital as an emergency.

The Medical Model project looks at how the trust can best treat the rising number of acutely ill patients coming to the hospital through A&E who require admission.

Dr John Day, clinical director for medicine said "We are redesigning the service so that the existing acute medical units (AMUs) are combined and relocated into a single assessment unit that is better equipped to cope with the needs of acute medical patients. 

"We have adopted an 'assess to admit' approach, which means that we can provide tests and investigations for patients without the need for them to stay in hospital, for example a patient who requires a scan could spend the night at home and then come back to the hospital the next day for their investigation."

Alongside these changes, the hospital is also developing its Older People's Acute Service (OPAS)  to provide rapid assessment, diagnosis, treatment and access to inpatient beds, health care and social services so that more elderly patients can get home quicker and have the right support when they need it most.  The OPAS will be located next to the new AMU, ensuring that expert clinicians are in the right place to treat the patients who need them.

The proposed changes mean that some existing wards will have to be relocated, and we would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during the short period of disruption.