The vital task of improving care of older people – both in hospital, and in the community – is one of the central elements of the Hampshire Together programme.
The key challenge is to ensure that the growing number of older people, often living with multiple conditions, get the best possible care in the most appropriate place.
A new hospital will help to provide more space and a modern, welcoming environment for those who need inpatient care across the Winchester, Basingstoke and Andover areas, but the new hospital facility will sit within a wider network of care which actively supports people to stay healthy and independent wherever possible. This will mean taking advantage of improved technology, and bringing frontline teams from different organisations more closely together to ensure patients get the best care, first time, wherever they are.
Dr Catherine Terry, a senior doctor specialising in elderly care at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is excited by the opportunities that the Hampshire Together programme offers.
“This is a fantastic chance for us to create more elderly care wards, with more space, to provide the best care and give us dedicated communal areas to ensure that inpatients get the social interaction that is so important to them.
“It’s also a chance to ensure that wards are friendlier for elderly patients, with features such as brighter lighting and hearing loops. And we hope to work more closely with our GP and emergency department colleagues, providing specialist assessment at an early stage to prevent elderly people from being admitted to hospital unless they really need to be there.
“We also see the opportunities to link with other healthcare professionals working outside hospital, using technology to share notes and records, and coming together to work as a single team for the benefit of the patient, rather than as a group of teams working in isolation from each other.”
Sara Courtney, deputy director of nursing at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust added: “The role of Southern Health is to support people to stay as well and as independent in their own homes and communities wherever possible. Our specialist community staff help prevent the need for people to go to hospital, and help those in hospital to return home as early as possible and safely.
“Hampshire Together is a great opportunity to build on improvements we are already making, so that our care is as joined up and effective as possible.
“A new hospital is part of a community of health and care services and we would encourage anyone who has an interest, people who access services in mid and north of Hampshire and staff that work in any of these services, to get involved and help shape the Hampshire Together programme.”
The Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme involves NHS and social care providers across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas. It is being led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
The programme includes the construction of a brand new hospital – but its impact will reach far beyond the walls of this new building, involving GPs, mental health, community care, social care and the wider voluntary sector, as well as acute hospital care.
As part of the Hampshire Together programme, people across north and mid Hampshire are currently being asked for their views on the way health services are provided in the area now and in the future.
You can hear more about the opportunities that the programme provides for elderly care, as well as having your say, during a special online engagement event taking place at 11am on Saturday 11 July. If you would like to take part you can register by visiting www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/109851789660.
Another chance to have your say will take place at 8pm on Thursday (July 9) night, when the focus will be on the Winchester area in general and Winchester hospital in particular. If you would like to take part in this event, you can register by visiting www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/109840624264.
More information about Hampshire Together, including details of all upcoming events, and an online comment form can be found at www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk. You can also find Hampshire Together on Twitter (www.twitter.com/HampshireMOHHS) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/hampshiretogether).
If you would like to receive the listening document and a comment form by post, write to the programme at FREEPOST Hampshire Together (no stamp required) with your name and address.