At home and in your community
Your local health and care services are developing over time and in different ways in each local area. Across mid and south Essex as a whole, the following are examples of developments in progress:
Our GP services offer great care, but many practices are under pressure caused by rising demands and a shortage of GPs coming to work in mid and south Essex.
Over the next two years, we expect to attract at least 50 new GPs across mid and south Essex. A new medical school is about to open at Anglia Ruskin University based in Chelmsford, and over time this will undoubtedly bring more doctors to our local area.
We know from recent national and local studies that up to a quarter of consultations with GPs do not need a GP’s specialist skills – so we are working with GP practices to identify and train staff to meet your needs. This includes practice nurses, clinical pharmacists and physiotherapists.
We are providing additional training for GP reception and administrative staff to reduce the clerical burden on GPs. This will all help to release time for GPs to care for patients who most need them.
We are exploring all that digital technology has to offer, like using online and smartphone applications to help people gain access to information and support to manage their condition.
We are also introducing services to help you with information, advice and support, linked to the wider network of community and voluntary services in your area. This includes care navigators to help you find the right support, as well as health coaches, care coordinators and health trainers who can help you or your carers.
We know from various studies that many people use A&E because they believe that this is the simplest and most effective way to deal with an urgent problem.
For those who need care urgently, our aim is to simplify the way you make contact with emergency services and make it easy to get the right care first time.
We are about to launch a new NHS 111 service, which gives you a 24 hour telephone helpline with connections to your GP surgery and out of hours services. We are increasing the number of doctors, nurses and pharmacists that will be available through dialling 111. They will help to assess your needs and put you in touch with the right service, whether this is your GP, community and mental health teams, ambulance or other services that you need.
Many people now live with at least one long-term incurable condition, such as diabetes, heart failure, asthma and other chest problems.
We aim to help you to avoid developing any long-term conditions, through education and support to live well. If you do develop one of these conditions, we want to support you with a range of services and personal care planning which will help you maintain your quality of life and avoid deterioration.
This will include working with you to be the expert on your condition and to know when and how to get further support when you need it.
Traditionally, mental health problems have been treated separately from physical health problems; however, the evidence of strong connections between physical and mental health continues to grow.
We also know that identifying mental health conditions such as anxiety and mild depression, and treating these early on, will prevent the development of more serious mental health conditions and physical illness. Mental health therapists working with GP practices will ensure fast access to therapies designed to support you.
We are also planning for more mental health specialists to work within A&E and hospital wards to make sure that mental health and physical issues are addressed at the same time and with expert help where needed.
GPs and other practice staff can identify patients who either are or are becoming frail or living with several different health and care needs.
Should you be identified as living with high risks to your health and wellbeing, a team of different professionals – a multidisciplinary team – can work with you, your family and your carers to plan and manage the right care for you.
At the end of life, we want you to have a range of health and care support that will enable you to make a choice about where you would prefer to be in your final stages of life. Most people would prefer to be at home, close to the people they love, however, on average, between 45% and 50% of people die in hospital.
We have some excellent end of life services across mid and south Essex and we want to build on the best of these to support you and your family at end of life.
For examples of developments in your own local area click here
In our hospitals
All three main hospitals in Southend, Chelmsford and Basildon are equally important for your future care. They will each continue to provide the vast majority of hospital services for their local population, including a local A&E at all three sites.
At the same time, we have an opportunity to improve care through the three hospitals working together as one group. As a group, we can share our best practice and improve standards across the hospitals.
We need your views on proposed specific changes in our hospitals
based on the following five principles.
- The majority of hospital care will remain local and each hospital will continue to have a 24 hour A&E department that receives ambulances.
- Certain more specialist services which need a hospital stay should be concentrated in one place, where this would improve your care and chances of a good recovery.
- Access to specialist emergency services, such as stroke care, should be via your local (or nearest) A&E, where you would be treated and, if needed, transferred to a specialist team, which may be in a different hospital.
- Planned operations should, where possible, be separate from patients who are coming into hospital in an emergency.
- Some hospital services should be provided closer to you, at home or in a local health centre.