People in Liverpool experience amongst the highest levels of poor health outcomes and health inequalities, both within the city, and compared to the rest of the country. Modern medicine has changed; increasing specialisation has improved care and outcomes but this means that care for an individual patient is often multi-disciplinary and needs to be delivered by several specialist teams working together.
The configuration of hospital services across Liverpool is highly fragmented with multiple providers, meaning that care is also fragmented and variable. This prevents care being provided in a multi-disciplinary joined up way, resulting in the sub-optimal outcomes and inequalities experienced by the North Mersey population. The fragmented hospital landscape also increases cost and inefficiencies, due to duplication and overlaps in services.
Care is compromised, expense is increased, efficiency is reduced, and delays result
Meanwhile, there is a huge academic opportunity that is being missed. A united and coordinated major university hospital working together with the University of Liverpool would have a much greater opportunity to fulfil research potential for the benefit of our patients. Liverpool has a clinically driven plan to address the issues around delivering our services. Three years ago over 200 senior doctors from Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (AUHFT) and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (RLBUHT), the two largest hospitals in the city, with a combined turnover in excess of £850 million, made the clinical case for the merger of the two organisations. Since then, this clinically led vision to deliver better quality and more cost effective care, has been developed with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), the University of Liverpool, the two Trust Boards and our other partners.
We will do this in partnership with:
- The University of Liverpool and the City Council, as we develop the Knowledge Quarter; over a £1 billion development plan, including expansion of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Accelerator and the Royal College of Physicians Northern Centre of Excellence
- The CCGs, as we implement Healthy Liverpool, the strategy for ‘single service, city wide delivery’ of hospital healthcare to improve health outcomes
- Other hospitals and partners in Cheshire and Merseyside, as we provide coordinated specialist care for the region and beyond
We will deliver:
- Improved, joined up and patient centred healthcare – centralised where necessary, local where possible
- Better access for patients to aim to consistently deliver key standards of care, such as: 18 week waiting times for planned surgery; making sure cancer patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible, and ensuring 95% of patients are in A&E for less than four hours before being treated or discharged
- Increased clinical trial recruitment and increased research which benefits patients
- Improved productivity and more cost effective healthcare
- A sustainable city-wide healthcare service
We will deliver ‘quick wins’ with large improvements in care and efficiency in:
- Orthopaedics (bones)
- Emergency general surgery
- Hepato-biliary (digestive) surgery
- Oesophago-gastric (gullet and stomach) surgery
- Caring for people who have had severe strokes.
We will build on the new estate within the city:
- The new Royal Liverpool University Hospital (RLUH) (£400 million)
- The new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre on the RLUH site (£120 million)
- Investment in the Knowledge Quarter (over £1 billion).
We will attract:
- Significantly increased research investment
- Staff to work in our hospitals, because of our plans to create an environment in which healthcare professionals can thrive while providing the best possible care for our patients.
We will do this because:
- It is the right thing to do for our city that has some of the worst health outcomes in the UK
- Neither hospital can achieve these goals alone The proposed merger of AUHFT and RLBUHT has widespread support from consultants, the Trust Boards, the CCGs, the University of Liverpool, the City Councils and NHS Cheshire and Merseyside.