Acute services review: next steps and events

Devon’s Acute Services Review (ASR) was announced on 4 November 2016, when the final draft of the five-year Wider-Devon Sustainability and Transformation Plan was published. The detailed case for change is set out on the website of NHS NEW Devon CCG.

This Plan sets out why we need to transform health and care services across Devon.  It has seven main priorities, one of which is to secure clinically and financially sustainable acute hospital services across Devon.

Acute services are currently provided for the people of Devon by our four major hospitals (in Barnstaple, Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay). The review will have three parts:

  1. Examine the gaps in our current acute services and/or whether we are fully meeting the national clinical standards to achieve ‘best care for Devon’.
  2. Identify those acute services that are vulnerable because of workforce shortages, or other challenges and which are at risk of becoming unsustainable in the near future.
  3. Engage our staff, stakeholders and the public on what they consider to be most important about the acute services within the Review and the criteria for decision-making

Across Devon, staff are working hard to deliver a good standard of care to patients. But we know we are not consistently delivering care in line with national best practice and we are doing this at too high a cost: Devon’s hospitals are currently spending £50 million more per year than they receive in funding. A large proportion of this overspend is on agency and locum clinical staff, which is a good indicator that services are becoming unsustainable. If we do nothing, this overspend on acute hospital services will increase to £305 million by 2021.

The aim of the review is to make sure Devon’s acute hospital services are fit for the future and provide the best possible care for our patients.
Because this is such an important issue for Devon, it will rightly involve months of collaboration, discussion and planning within, between and outside of our hospitals to come up with proposals to ensure we achieve our shared goal of sustainable acute and specialist service provision across Devon.

Discussion events

The next steps of this review involve encouraging people to discuss what is important to them about acute services. These discussions will be held across North, East, South and West Devon in a variety of formats and settings, from attending council meetings to specially organised discussion events.

The feedback we receive will be presented to the clinicians in each workstream to ensure that the views of our wider staff, stakeholder and public are incorporated into our planning and thinking at the earliest stages.

The details of each of the public discussion events and how to book to guarantee a place are in the flyer below.

For more information about the Acute Services Review (ASR), see a stakeholder briefing from February 2017 below.