Like much of the NHS across the country, both Hospital Trusts are facing a number of challenges relating to finance, staff and increasing demand for our services. Despite the passion, commitment and hard work of our staff, these challenges cannot be solved in isolation and we want to look for a solution that will improve what we can offer patients locally and enable us to operate on a firmer footing in the years to come.
In Burton, our relatively small size means it is difficult to stay properly sustainable by ourselves, as clinical practice becomes more and more specialised. We want to retain our core services, such as A&E and Intensive Care, whilst also looking to the future and what different services we may provide across our local communities of Burton, Lichfield, Tamworth and the surrounding areas.
In Derby, we need to ensure that some of the more specialised services we offer, such as cancer treatments and specialised heart and spinal services will continue to be commissioned by NHS England. For that to happen, we need to offer these services to as large a population as possible.
Both Trusts face challenges on waiting times in A&E, and for some orthopaedic and cancer treatments, as well as significant financial challenges and some recruitment issues. So it makes sense for us to explore ways to work together, and differently, to improve the quality of care we offer, whilst also making savings. As part of this, we also want to look at how we can best use our combined buildings and facilities. While these are all significant challenges, we believe that by working more closely together we have a much better chance of addressing and overcoming them, for the benefit of our combined local populations.