Joint Media Release from: NHS Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Health and care leaders in Gloucestershire have positively endorsed the findings of a recent Local Government Association (LGA) ‘Peer Review’ of the urgent and emergency care system and are committed to making the improvements necessary.

The independent external review of current working arrangements is the first stage in an ambitious transformation programme for the county and partners say they are determined to ensure service users consistently receive the high quality of care and outcomes they should expect.

Chief Medical Officer for NHS Gloucestershire, Dr Andy Seymour said:

“The peer review reflects our shared desire to learn from best practice and also conduct this work in an open and transparent way.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the LGA led process – clinicians, managers and front line staff – which all partners agreed was a vital first step towards improving the urgent and emergency care system for the future.

Partners recognise that not all of our current systems, leadership and practices are working as well as they should and that there is need for improvement.

However, there are also some really good examples of things that are working well, and we will continue to build on the innovative practice that we see every day in our ambulance services, hospitals, in the community and in primary care.”

Executive Director of Adult Social Care, Wellbeing and Communities at Gloucestershire County Council, Professor Sarah Scott said:

“Together we will work to address the report’s findings and recognise that the solutions lie in both leadership and in our collective efforts on the ground.

We understand the challenges facing our frontline colleagues. We know that they are committed to doing the very best they can for every service user and recognise that it can sometimes be the systems and processes that are hindering them from being able to achieve this as well as we would all want.

They have a lot of insight and ideas to contribute and we will ensure that colleagues are involved and continue to influence our approach going forward.”

One Gloucestershire health and care partners will now review the feedback more fully and feed the key findings into the next stage of the transformation programme which will continue over the summer and autumn.

This will define and set out priorities for improving the urgent and emergency care system and how they will be taken forward and implemented.

The review identified some key areas of focus and this is covered in more detail in the summary here. It includes:

  • Strengthening the system strategy, vision and integrated commissioning intentions for urgent and emergency care
  • Developing further a culture of shared ownership and solutions to the challenges facing the system including care capacity, workforce constraints and delayed transfers of care
  • Building on the progress made with coordination of system flow (supporting the person’s journey through care) arrangements
  • Developing systems to improve the operational communication between staff and services across the system
  • Improving system governance and escalation arrangements
  • Continuing to build capacity in community services.

The peer review process involved speaking to over 60 staff from the health and care system (including the independent adult social care sector and the voluntary and community sector) in 17 focus groups.