Improving services today
Work has already started to improve health and social care services in Dacorum. For example, Rapid Response – a service to support older people which has been successful in Hertsmere and has recently been extended to St Albans – is now being rolled out in Dacorum. This programme involves a joined-up team of local providers responding quickly to deliver support to older people, helping them to avoid being admitted to hospital.
Health and wellbeing hub in Hemel Hempstead
Local clinicians, patients and community representatives are currently working on plans for a health and wellbeing hub in Hemel Hempstead. Work around commercial feasibility has commenced and we are working towards producing a strategic outline case for the hub later this year. Planning is also underway to provide services from an ‘interim hub’ – based at The Marlowes – whilst the Hemel health and wellbeing hub is being developed.
We are planning a conversation event to be held in July where we will showcase some examples of how a hub can work – please do contact us to get involved!
The hubs will underpin local networks of care across West Hertfordshire – these will be tailored to meet the needs of local people. Examples of services that might be provided include:
This means that local residents will be supported to keep well and look after themselves and that, when they do need health and care services, they are well co-ordinated and that patients don’t have to travel too far unless absolutely necessary.
The following diagram outlines what a local health and wellbeing hub in Hemel Hempstead might look like (please click to enlarge).
We will keep you updated with how the plans for the hub in Hemel Hempstead develop.
The future of hospital services in West Hertfordshire is a priority for the local area and a key element of the vision for a healthier West Herts; however it is only one part of the solution - we must work to provide quality services in all settings. Currently there are many people being treated in hospitals across West Hertfordshire who could be cared for in the community, closer to where they live. We want to treat the right conditions in the right setting, ensuring people only have to travel to hospital if the care they need cannot be provided closer to home.
Below we have outlined how the three options shortlisted for future hospital care will affect the way patients in Dacorum access hospital-based services.
Option 1: centralise acute care at a new hospital in a central locationThe care provided would include emergency services, comprehensive women’s and maternity care, day surgery, cancer care, an outpatients department, diagnostics, children’s services and specialised care. The location for this option remains under discussion. It is assumed that transport links (including public transport) would need to be in place for this option to be viable.
Option 2: centralise acute care at WatfordThis option means that all acute care would be provided at Watford. The care provided would include emergency services, comprehensive women’s and maternity care, day surgery, cancer care, an outpatients department, diagnostics, children’s services and specialised care. The buildings at Watford would be refurbished and existing services such as day case surgery would be moved from St Albans and Hemel Hempstead to the Watford site.
Option 3: locating acute care at Watford and St Albans. This option provides the least amount of change.Under this option, day surgery, complex diagnostics, cancer care and an outpatients department would be provided at St Albans. Services at Watford would include emergency services, comprehensive women’s and maternity care, an outpatients department, diagnostics, children’s services and specialised care.
A similar option that provides services at Hemel Hempstead rather than in St Albans has been considered. There are a number of reasons why the St Albans site is preferred:
No decisions about options for acute hospital care have been made. We will keep an open mind about the best solution. We welcome your feedback on all the options and any other potential scenarios you would like us to consider.
You can find out more information on how the options have been analysed, scored and shortlisted in the strategic outline case, available here.
Thank you to everyone in Dacorum who have already provided their views on the future of health and social care in the area. We are committed to engaging with local patients and stakeholders to help shape the future of local services. For more information on how you can get involved, go to this page.