Senior responsible officer: Ken Bremner
Chief Executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
The optimising health services work stream is focussed on finding sustainable solutions for health services that are under the greatest pressure.
Although many of our services are performing strongly, we face challenges in several key areas – which are often exacerbated by both rising demand and workforce issues.
Through working with a representative group of clinicians from across the area, we’ve identified that many of the challenges we face have the potential to be addressed through collaborative working. The most pressing priorities for change are now being considered by system leaders across the region.
This work stream will play a key role in highlighting and understanding dependencies between service improvements identified as essential to improve quality, sustainability or safety, and how, if necessary, any changes need to be coordinated across organisational boundaries and between primary (community-based) and hospital-based care.
Our joint priorities are informing how we develop our workforce; including recruitment and training priorities (and the development of shared rotas in areas such as haematology), as well as the work we are doing through our digital work stream; for example, remote image sharing and results reporting to support the sustainability of radiology services.
The work stream is also providing a focus for coordinating our established clinical networks, including the Northern Cancer Alliance, as well as the developing primary care networks and community pharmacy.