Mark Newbold

Outcomes must lead reconfiguration decisions

A new report by the Federation of Specialist Hospitals warns against compromising its members when reconfiguring services – suggesting their outcomes are among the best in England.

Dr Mark Newbold, chair of the NHS Confederation’s Hospitals Forum, comments on the findings:

“The Federation of Specialist Hospitals’ report articulates some of the concerns and recommendations voiced by our members.

“There is widespread consensus that clinical outcomes should guide any decision about reconfiguring specialised services, and evidence needs to be gathered of any efficiency gains resulting from centralising these services in fewer, larger centres.

“Any specialised services’ reconfiguration planned by NHS England must consider and address the full range of consequences. For instance, smaller providers may be destabilised if they lose specialist services, and this could impact on their ability to provide other, non-specialised, services to their communities.

“In each locality, the whole health and social care system must co-create a strategy which is appropriate for the area, and is both sustainable and capable of delivering the best outcomes for patients.

One size does not fit all, and this ‘place-based’ approach will ensure local need is taken fully into account.”

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