You may have seen an article in the Northern Echo about the
Accident and Emergency Department at Darlington Memorial
The Trust's current strategy is to provide acute services
including emergency care at Durham and Darlington.
We have announced plans to invest in our emergency care
facilities in both Durham and Darlington, as well as investing in
new theatres at DMH. These plans will be considered by the Board
over the summer.
Last week, we agreed that more work needs to be done ahead of
the Board to understand how patient pathways might look in the
future, and make sure that new facilities have inbuilt flexibility
where services might change.
The results of a project called SeQIHS (Securing Quality in
Health Services) will be published in the autumn. This is expected
to recommend changes to how some health services are provided
across County Durham and the Tees Valley.
There is also national work looking at the future of urgent and
emergency care, including urgent care centres, A&E, GP out of
hours, ambulance services and NHS 111. The Trust will be applying
to be a national vanguard provider in this work, with our local
Reflecting this regional and national work, the Trust has begun
"Quality First". It is one of seven projects which form our annual
plan for 2015/16. It is a review of the quality and sustainability
of all our services for the next 5 to 10 years to make sure we are
offering patients the best possible care and treatment within the
The Quality First review has begun with meetings with A&E
and acute medicine teams, because, over the last two years we have
been clear that "getting care right for the emergency patient" is
our key priority.
Over the next few weeks, we will also be talking to women's and
children's services, trauma, planned surgery, intensive care,
medical and surgical specialties.
In all of these areas we will be asking our teams to look at how
services for patients are provided now, and how they could be
provided in the future.
These will focus on sustainable provision, available workforce,
collaborative working with other providers, improving pathways to
provide a better service, and developing centres of
We will have an opportunity to discuss the work so far at a
clinical event planned for 16 July.
We will publish updates as this work progresses.
As usual, I welcome your comments and questions to email@example.com
On behalf of the Executive Team
'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their
Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital