Public supports reasons for change at Liverpool Women’s Hospital
The feedback from a public conversation about the review of services provided by Liverpool Women’s Hospital shows the majority of people who took part support the reasons why doctors, nurses and midwives believe services need to change.
The case for considering changes to the way women’s and newborn services should be delivered was set out in a range of materials which supported this conversation (available here). In summary the case for change explains how the needs of patients have changed since the hospital opened more than 20 years ago, which has increased the clinical challenges that patients could face, including:- More women are having babies at a later age and more women are able to have babies despite having serious medical problems;
- Babies that wouldn’t have survived are now routinely surviving, but require intensive care;
- Women are living longer with increasing numbers requiring gynaecological services, including gynaecological cancers which often involve complex surgery.
In addition, medical innovation and higher nationally-agreed clinical standards of care are driving new ways of caring for patients. The review has also made clear that the way services are currently delivered is not financially sustainable in the longer term.
The public conversation about the case for change was conducted throughout July and August, as one of the stages of the review being led by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
People were asked for their views, which will now inform the development of specific options for the future of these services.
More than 2,900 people responded to an online and print survey, along with feedback from face to face conversations conducted at public meetings and with groups, such as patient groups, new mothers and BME communities. Of those who responded to the survey, 72% said they supported the case for change, while 19% were unsure and 9% did not agree.
Respondents gave a clear message that the most important factors for the review to consider in developing options for the future were patient safety and quality of services and patients having a good experience of care. It was also clear from respondents that they would want to protect the dedicated focus on women’s and newborn services and some concerns were expressed about services potentially moving from the hospital’s Crown Street site.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, Clinical Director for the Healthy Liverpool Hospitals Programme, led by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It was important for us to get the public’s views on the case for change so we can be confident that people understand the issues we are trying to address. The objective of this review is to make services for women and newborns even better; this is not about cutting services.
“The feedback from these early conversations will inform the detailed options that are being developed, which will be shared in due course with the public as part of a formal public consultation.”
A full report of the pre-consultation engagement is available by clicking here.