My View, Nick Tupper: You want NHS services near your home

Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley
Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley

You’ve no doubt heard of 3D and 3G, but when it comes to healthcare, my focus is on 3C.

The 3Cs are the key big changes we want to drive forward in Doncaster that will make a massive difference to local people like you when you need the NHS:

n Care out of hospital

n Care of the elderly

n Co-ordinated care

These are NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group’s ‘big ambitions’, the areas we’re focusing on to try to make major health improvements for Doncaster patients. They impact on many aspects of NHS care in Doncaster and are right at the top of our ‘must be done’ pile.

The CCG’s role is to manage Doncaster’s NHS budget and use it to organise, pay for and monitor the health services you need. This involves having an overview of the way local healthcare is delivered and constantly looking from all angles at ways of making it more efficient and effective.

Services must be designed around the needs of local patients. Doncaster people tell us they want them at, or as close to where they live, as possible. We need to make more services available out of hospital and deliver them in community settings where it is safe and effective to do so, or provide care differently so you don’t need to go to hospital. It’s crucial the NHS moves from primarily being a reactive organisation, looking after people when they are ill, to one actively helping them stay well.

Hospitalsmust be ready to treat people when they become very unwell. But much more can be done elsewhere, by GP surgeries and other community health workers, to avoid them having to go there in the first place. By actively monitoring patients who, for example, have long term health problems and quickly stabilising them if their condition deteriorates, we can avoid many emergency admissions to hospital. This is better for the patient and the NHS. More Doncaster people are living longer and as they age often have multiple health problems. We’re looking at better ways of caring for elderly and frail patients where they live. Some are under the care of consultants. They don’t necessarily need a hospital appointment, they could be seen at home or close to home. Recently we have funded a consultant geriatrician post who will work actively in the community, helping GPs to actively manage the care of older patients.

The NHS is a very complex organisation, with care being provided by many different Trusts and, increasingly, with local authorities and other organisations. Co-ordinated care is providing an opportunity to focus on how we can all work together more effectively, so information about you that is important to your care can be shared better with the people who need to see it, whilst still being confidentially managed.