22 June 2020

The people of north and mid Hampshire are being asked to have their say on the way child health services are delivered across the area as part of the Hampshire Together programme.Child Health.JPG

The Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme involves NHS and social care providers across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas. It is being led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The programme includes the construction of a brand new hospital – but the programme’s impact will reach far beyond the walls of this new building, involving GPs, mental health, community care, social care and the wider voluntary sector, as well as acute hospital care.

As part of the Hampshire Together programme, people across north and mid Hampshire are currently being asked for their views on the way health services are provided in the area now and in the future.

This week, the focus is on child health services, which are currently provided at all three of the hospitals operated by Hampshire Hospitals, as well as in the community.

Wards for children and young people who require treatment in hospital are provided at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester. Outpatient services are also offered at these hospitals, as well as Andover War Memorial Hospital and at outreach clinics and GP surgeries in other areas.

Hampshire Hospitals also has a community nursing team, who visit children with long term conditions and special needs in their own homes, as well as a team of nurses covering special schools in the area. The trust also provides care in a joint health and social care facility for children with complex and additional needs.

This current system provides a number of challenges, solutions to which will need to be found as part of the Hampshire Together programme.

Dr Nick Ward, consultant paediatrician and clinical director of child health at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “I am very proud of the brilliant teams of doctors, nurses and other child health professionals that provide an integrated child centred service to our patients and their families.

“However, with the increasing complexity and changing needs of children’s physical, emotional and mental health there are many challenges with our current system and environment that impact on our ability to develop services that fully support the needs of the population. 

“For example, we are limited in our ability to provide high dependency care services for children at either of our hospitals, which means that some children have to be treated at other trusts, often further from home. We are also caring for an increasing number of young people who attend hospital in crisis with mental health or emotional difficulties.  

“We have been at the forefront of integrating hospital and primary care, working closely with many of our colleagues in primary care to support the care of all children, in the understanding that although some children need acute hospital services there are many others who can be cared for in the community effectively. 

“We are keen to look at how we can further develop our services to suit the future needs of our local children – and we really want to hear from young people and families who have used our services recently to learn about their experiences and listen to what they would like us to be able to do differently.”

Dr Matt Nisbet, clinical lead for business and partnerships at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of CCGs, said:“Child health involves so much more than just treatments and medicines – it is also about building good relationships with families and providing care and support in a way which inspires confidence and trust.

“To truly succeed in improving the service, it is absolutely essential that we hear from children and young people directly as well as their parents, families and carers. They are the experts when it comes to knowing whether the service gives them the support they need, in the right way, in the right place, from the right people.

“The Hampshire Together process isn’t just about a new building project, it is about re-thinking how the local NHS can better care for people both in and out of the hospital. That isn’t something we can do in isolation – we really need to hear from people who use these services, so I would encourage anyone who cares about child health to get involved.”

You can hear more about the challenges facing child health services, and how these could be overcome, during a special online engagement event taking place at 11am on Saturday 27 June. If you would like to take part you can register by visiting www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hampshire-together-child-health-public-online-engagement-session-tickets-109311395326.

More information about Hampshire Together, including details of all upcoming events, and an online comment form can be found at www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk. You can also find Hampshire Together on Twitter (www.twitter.com/HampshireMOHHS) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/hampshiretogether).

If you would like to receive the listening document and a comment form by post, write to the programme at FREEPOST Hampshire Together (no stamp required) with your name and address.