A new Clinical Strategy for University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex) was approved by the board on 3 August 2023. It sets out three-year ambitions for all clinical services in support of the Trust vision of excellent care, every time for all our patients.
As one of the newest and largest hospital trusts in the country, UHSussex can take advantage of its new size and combined resources to make changes that will make the biggest difference to patients.
Chief executive Dr George Findlay said: “From delivering national best practice and developing purpose-built facilities, to expanding access to research and offering new treatments, our clinical strategy is informed by what our patients have told us, what our clinical leaders think, the health and wellbeing needs of our local population and the ambitions of the Sussex Health and Care Partnership.
“We’ve used our Patient First continuous improvement approach to identify what changes we want to prioritise first – but we’ve also been clear about not changing the things we know our patients value the most, such as 24-hour access to emergency care and maternity services, as well as outpatients and diagnostic services at all our hospitals.
“But, as a large teaching Trust, major trauma centre, and tertiary care provider, we do have opportunities to expand our specialist services to offer greater support and better care for people living in Sussex. And our ambitious plans to enhance research and innovation activities at all our hospitals will support this growth and offer both patients and staff the opportunity to benefit from the latest developments in medicine and technology.”
The Trust’s Clinical Strategy supports its overarching Patient First improvement strategy, and it aligns with our plans for digital innovation, mental health, environmental sustainability, education, estates planning, partnership working, and research and innovation.
Each of the Trust’s clinical divisions and specialty teams has identified initial priorities that’ll deliver the greatest benefits for patients, in line with broader Patient First objectives, such as reducing waiting times and improving clinical outcomes.
Some of the initial priorities include:
- Medicine – expand access to Same Day Emergency Care and Urgent Treatment Centres; deliver multi-million reconfiguration of the Acute Floor at Royal Sussex County Hospital.
- Clinical Support Services – ensure the successful opening of the Community Diagnostic Centre at Southlands Hospital and subsequent spoke development at Falmer and Bognor Regis; redesign our clinical pharmacy services; strengthen our Pathology services through the Sussex Pathology Network.
- Surgical Services – redesign our pathways and provision for general surgery and orthopaedic surgery to ensure they are as effective as possible, supporting high quality care; open the new Urology Investigation Unit at Princess Royal Hospital; standardise critical care outreach services across the Trust; increase provision of day-case surgery at Princess Royal and Southlands hospitals.
- Cancer Care – develop and implement new cancer strategy that determine the requirements for inpatient beds; develop clear plans for the new Sussex Cancer Centre as part of Stage 2 of the 3Ts development.
- Specialist Services – implement the outcome of the Stroke reconfiguration public consultation, expand the mechanical thrombectomy service at Royal Sussex County Hospital for stroke patients; open helideck for major trauma in Brighton; expand our cardiac surgery service.
- Women and Children – enhance our service model for paediatric services across the Trust; review model for optimal provision of gynaecology day, ambulatory, early pregnancy, and outpatients across the Trust; implement the maternity improvement plan.
George added: “As we now transition into the three-year implementation phase for our new Clinical Strategy, we will be organising a series of stakeholder briefings and workshops, either by hospital, clinical division, or specialty team to inform and involve all relevant staff, partners, and stakeholders. We will also be hosting a series of public events on specific improvement programmes within the Clinical Strategy as part of our UHSussex Talks programme for Trust Members and interested members of the public.”