In the search for evidence that the NHS Long Term Plan, announced by the Prime Minister this week, is the way forward in delivering an NHS that’s fit for the future, then look no further than one hospital trust just four miles east of Manchester city centre.
Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care Hospital has emerged over the past five years to become one of Britain’s top performing hospitals. In fact, in every key aspect of the Government’s ambitious plan, from delivering person centred care to focusing on population health, it leads the way.
The results are impressive, especially given the health needs of the 250,000 people it serves; rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and obesity are much higher than the national average, which put pressure on an already over-challenged service.
Yet, latest results put the hospital as the best performing Trust in Greater Manchester for seeing people within four hours in A&E and among the very best in the country for ensuring local people are seen quickly when they have suspected cancer.
The NHS Plan promises a new service model; action on prevention and health inequalities; progress on care and quality outcomes; digitally enabled care and an emphasis on staff. These are all areas where this foundation trust excels.
Chief Executive Karen James explains some of the ways her hospital has found itself at the vanguard of best practice while consistently managing to hit Government performance targets.
She says: “We continue our ambitious plans to change the way people access health and care services locally, which makes it easier to have care when its needed and in the most appropriate place – often at or close to home through our integrated neighbourhood teams.
“We are working with every care and residential home in our community to offer a digital consultant-led service to prevent unnecessary visits to A&E, and we teamed up the North West Ambulance Service to pioneer a way of speeding up the response time for treatment and reducing the need for some people to be admitted. The ‘Hear & Treat’ response means that 999 calls for non-urgent patients will be taken up by the hospital’s community team of doctors and nurses, eliminating the need for the dispatch of an ambulance.
“We became the first NHS organisation in the country to ban sugary snacks and added sugar from its restaurant, and we invited the people of Tameside and Glossop to go sugar free for 70 days to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Over 3,000 people took up the challenge and 33,000lbs, that’s 15,968 kilos of fat, was lost. And, we are trialling innovative ways to help our staff and patients lose weight and reduce their levels of diabetes through podcasts with support from our GPs.
"The commitment to an open and consultative process in developing a detailed implementation plan over the next few months has been made. It is vital that the expertise and concerns of NHS trusts are central to those discussions, and we at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT look forward to making a full and positive contribution."