The local NHS in West Lancashire is exploring alternative ways to deliver cardiology services, to avoid patients having to frequently visit hospital.
Patients requiring cardiology services currently visit hospital sites for their treatment and check-ups. NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is aiming to evolve the service so that care is primarily delivered by community based specialists, allowing patients to visit a clinic closer to their home instead of having to travel further and make multiple visits to hospital.
As well as delivering care closer to home, the benefits for patients includes improved patient experience, shorter waiting times and will mean secondary (hospital care) is freed up to focus on those patients who will benefit from being referred to hospital.
In addition, patients using the service will not only receive clinical expertise from community based specialists, but also a thorough offer of treatment and care from one location, including for example full assessment, patient management plans, and advice and education for patients and carers on managing their condition. This system of treatment has been proven to be clinically safe and more accessible in several other areas.
Dr Bapi Biswas, local GP and board member for NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“It is clear that where cardiology is concerned we need to change the status quo, we need to improve access and convenience for patients. Within our planning process we must consider our local communities and their needs. In West Lancashire for an example we have many living in rural communities and other areas with limited availability of public transport for those without their own form of transport. This tier 2 cardiology service will relieve a degree of pressure for certain patients having to be repeatedly treated in a hospital setting and takes into account what patients have already told us about getting care closer to where they live. Similarly with an aging population and rising costs faced by the NHS, this is a cost effective solution that will deliver a quality accessible services for those patients in West Lancashire.”
This development reflects the CCG’s vision detailed with the Care Closer to Home Programme and 5 year strategic plan, both of which have listened to patient feedback and experiences about requiring more care out of hospital.
The CCG is currently following a thorough process to identify suitable providers for this community service.
To read more about our priorities and aims for improving healthcare in West Lancashire, please read our 5 year strategic plan