NHS partners in Gloucestershire are today starting a public and staff conversation exploring ideas on how to organise several specialist health services over the medium to long term.

The NHS says it’s about helping their dedicated health professionals, working with people and community partners across Gloucestershire, to provide the very best care possible.

The engagement covers a number of hospital services and development of the Centres of Excellence approach to care across the Gloucestershire Royal (GRH) and Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) sites.

In two areas, Diabetes and Frailty, the NHS also wants to discuss ideas for how community services could be further developed to improve the wider journey of care for local people.

It’s the next phase of the Fit for the For Future programme after conversations about other services in 2020/2021.

The NHS wants to involve people in discussing ideas for:

  • Benign Gynaecology – day cases. Gynaecology is the medical speciality (area) dealing with the health of the female reproductive system and benign means non-cancerous. The service also provides surgical procedures, such as hysterectomies.
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology – inpatient care for people with Diabetes and Endocrine conditions. Endocrine conditions are where a person’s endocrine system (that produces the body’s hormones) does not work correctly, causing hormonal imbalances in the body.
  • Frailty/Care of the Elderly – hospital and community services. Frailty is where the ability to cope with physical trauma or illness and psychological stress is reduced, impacting on the ability to recover after illness.
  • Non-interventional cardiology – inpatient care for cardiology patients, not requiring interventional cardiology i.e. not requiring special imaging tests or surgery. Cardiology is the treatment of disorders of the heart and blood vessels.
  • Respiratory care – inpatient respiratory care, including the respiratory high care service. Respiratory Services provide treatment for breathing problems, including the lower airway (trachea), the lungs, the chest wall and the ventilatory control system.
  • Stroke care – acute inpatient stroke services. A stroke is a serious medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

The ideas do not cover outpatient services which would continue to be available from multiple sites.

Medical Director and Interim Chief Executive at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Prof Mark Pietroni said:

“We are very fortunate in Gloucestershire. We have two large hospital sites that offer us a fantastic opportunity to provide care and services that are amongst the best in the country.

Previous Fit for the Future feedback has highlighted support for developing the ‘centres of excellence’ approach and there is now an opportunity to discuss ideas for a number of other services in Gloucestershire.

Overall, our vision is for two thriving, vibrant hospital sites with strong identities and both providing world class, leading edge treatment.”

Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Seymour said:

“The NHS is going through the most challenging period of its 74 year history to date.

Gloucestershire’s health and care system, like other parts of the country, is in the process of recovering from the pressures that the COVID-19 pandemic placed on our services, staff and local communities.

We know we still have a long way to go but believe that the ideas to be explored in this Fit for the Future 2 conversation have real potential to keep us moving in the right direction.”

The NHS is urging local people to get involved and is open to receiving feedback between 17 May and 29 June 2022, with continuing conversations during the summer.

Additional Information

Through Fit for the Future, the NHS is looking to:

  • Improve health outcomes for patients
  • Reduce waiting times and limit the number of operations that are cancelled
  • Make sure patients are always assessed by the right hospital specialist with timely decisions about their treatment and care
  • Ensure there are always safe staffing levels, including senior doctors available 24/7 and teams have the best equipment and facilities
  • Support joint working between services to reduce the number of hospital visits people have to make
  • Create flagship centres for research, training and learning – attracting and keeping the best staff in Gloucestershire
  • Deliver more specialist services in Gloucestershire to enable people to receive care locally rather than travelling to Bristol, Birmingham and Oxford.

How can people get involved?

There are a number of ways people can get involved from completing a survey, attending public workshops to taking part in interactive Facebook Live events or visiting the information bus as it tours the county.

Full details can be found on the Get Involved in Gloucestershire (GIG) website – getinvolved.glos.nhs.uk.


What will happen next?

Following the engagement, there will be a review period, where NHS organisations will carefully consider all the feedback at meetings in public later in the year to inform next steps. These meetings will be live streamed on the internet.

Decisions will then be made about the further development of any proposals. The NHS will provide updates at getinvolved.glos.nhs.uk.