Nat Cato from Healthwatch Redbridge encourages service users to make their voices count
In September 2019, Whipps Cross was given the go-ahead to build a brand-new state-of-the art hospital. A strategic case was developed with local health and social care partners talking to service users and hospital staff.
The initial plans for the new building involved increasing the proportion of clinical space from 50% to around 70% and maximising the use of its departments. It would make more efficient use of services which are currently spread out across the site. The proportion of critical care and maternity beds would also be increased and modern wards would have the proportion of single rooms significantly expanded, improving patient experience and infection control.
Meetings and surveys showed seven out of ten respondents agreed that the hospital couldn’t be done without developing the site for new homes as well as core health and care services.
The Challenges of COVID-19
When COVID-19 arrived Barts Health adapted to minimise its spread by restricting hospital visits and using technology for virtual consultations to ensure services were delivered where possible. Most elective surgeries were suspended (apart from cancer treatment and life-saving operations).
Seeing Covid-19 as one of the biggest challenges faced by the NHS, the Trust’s clinicians came to the realisation that the overall vision for the new hospital remained valid but would need to adapt some of the detail in implementing it.
“We are increasing the proportion of outpatient consultations done remotely by telephone or video. These are positive changes we wanted to make, that are taking place sooner than we hoped…
We now anticipate making further changes to the “front door” model of the new hospital to account for the expectation that more people will access services by being referred from GPs or NHS 111, rather than walking in as at present.” Barts Health NHS Trust
Join the virtual meeting
As a service user, your views are needed. Join the virtual public meeting for an update on the new hospital, present your views and have your questions answered.
The panel for these meetings will include representatives from Barts Health as well as partners from the local health system in East London and from local government.
A summary of the emerging plans – ‘Building a Brighter Future for Whipps Cross – Moving to the next stage’ – can be found here.
The meeting for Redbridge residents is on 29 October 2020, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Healthwatch Redbridge is an independent champion for health and social care is keen that services hear directly from members of the public.