Improving services today
Work has already started to improve health and social care services provided in St Albans and Harpenden. For example, Rapid Response – a service to support older people – has recently been extended to St Albans. 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. For more information on rapid response, please see the website here [link to Rapid Response].
Health and wellbeing hub in Harpenden
Our vision for West Hertfordshire includes a health and wellbeing hub in each locality.
In each hub, GP and other primary care services will be available alongside community and other health and care services. Each hub will be carefully designed with local clinicians and stakeholders so that it meets the needs of the local population.
Local clinicians and patients are currently working on plans for a hub located in Harpenden. Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust has been working with the community including town, district and city councillors, The Harpenden Society, Red House Forum and the St Albans and Harpenden Patient Group to discuss the redevelopment of the Harpenden Memorial site and ideas for the hub. They have a local resident on their project board and have a programme of future engagement activity.
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 Harpenden might look like (please click to enlarge).
We will keep you updated with how the plans for the hub in Harpenden develop. Following approval of the strategic outline case for the Harpenden redevelopment, the Outline Business Case is due in June 2016, which will include more information on the types of services that could be provided.
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 St Albans and Harpenden 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.
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 St Albans and Harpenden 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.