Children’s surgery and anaesthesia services are under review as part of the work of Commissioners Working Together. They are a group of eight NHS clinical commissioning groups and NHS England, working across South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire.
Over the past year Commissioners Working Together have been discussing children’s surgery and anaesthesia services in our region. They recognise there’s a shortage of doctors in training, and the need to deliver care across our region in a planned and controlled way.
All the hospitals in the region were asked to assess their performance against national core standards for providing children’s surgery and anaesthesia. They also supplied data about the numbers of people needing the service and their staffing levels.
We then met with the commissioners to assess and agree the data and our current situation.
With children’s surgery, the review showed:
- Some of the hospital doctors and nurses don’t treat as many children as others do. This means experience and quality of services and treatment can vary.
- Nationally, there aren’t enough health care professionals qualified to treat the amount of children who need surgery every year.
- Changes to the numbers of hours that doctors can work means that cover is a mixture of permanent and temporary staff and this can affect continuity of care.
- For the reasons above, the quality of the service isn’t the same across the region. All hospitals must work to the same high standards, but this is getting harder.
- We want to make the best use of staff and resources across the region to make sure everyone receives the same high quality care. Our proposed changes are about improving quality and safety for our children and not about cutting services or saving money. We must use what we have in the best possible way to get the best value and services for everyone.
As a result we know that across our region, some people have better experiences, better outcomes and better access to these services than others. The commissioners agreed that everyone in our region should experience the highest quality and safest service possible. They have been looking at options to make improvements.
The commissioners and hospitals have developed three options which could reduce the number of hospitals where operations for some conditions for children are carried out at night, at a weekend, or require an overnight stay. Operations under these circumstances would no longer be provided in Barnsley, Chesterfield, Doncaster or Rotherham.
What does this mean for us?
At the moment, it means no change as this is a proposal and subject to public consultation.
We agree current services in the region are unsustainable. We want everyone to have access to high quality care and treatment in children’s surgery and anaesthesia services. To do nothing is not an option, and so we must therefore be ready to put the changes in place and we are making plans to do this.
How to join in the consultation
We invite members of the public to share their views on proposals for the future of these services. If you live in Barnsley we really want to hear from you.
The public consultation is open between Monday 3 October 2016 and Friday 20 January 2017. We expect a final decision from clinical commissioners in February.
During the consultation period there will be public meetings to discuss the proposals. Visit www.smybndccgs.nhs.uk or call 0114 305 4487 for more information.
Download the full children’s surgery and anaesthesia services consultation pack. It contains a feedback form which you can print and post to Commissioners Working Together at their Freepost address.