Looking ahead

Specialist hospitals

The services provided by Dorset’s hospitals will be different in future:

  • Royal Bournemouth Hospital will become a major emergency hospital. It will also deliver some specialist services for the whole of Dorset.
  • Poole Hospital will become a major planned hospital with a 24-hour urgent care centre. It will provide elective operations without the disruption that can occur from high volumes of emergency cases.
  • Dorset County Hospital will continue to provide urgent, emergency and planned care services. Only the most specialist cases will be transferred to the other hospitals.

One cancer service

Currently cancer services are provided in three acute hospitals. In future, one cancer network will deliver seamless and equitable surgical and non-surgical cancer services, regardless of where people live. There will be a focus on effective prevention, and early and accurate diagnosis.

Maternity and paediatrics

New consultant-led maternity and paediatric services will be run from the major emergency hospital in Bournemouth, in a new state-of-the-art maternity unit.

In the west of the county the partners are seeking to commission consultant-led maternity and paediatric services integrated across Dorset County Hospital (subject to final agreement and consultation).

Improving mental health

Plans include creating and improving prevention and crisis support services including community front rooms, retreats and an enhanced 24/7 crisis line, as well as ensuring hospital beds are available where most needed.

  • Three community front rooms will be introduced in familiar community settings such as cafes or day centres in rural communities where access to services can be more difficult. They will be staffed by peer support workers and health professionals.
  • Two retreats in Bournemouth and Dorchester will be linked to a community mental health team and based in an NHS setting. They will provide alternative options when someone is in mental distress, rather than emergency departments or police stations.
  • The existing 24/7 crisis line will include a new service called Connection, which will offer emotional support via phone, email and Skype to individuals in crisis or distress.

Other priorities for 2018 include:

  • Implementing an integrated urgent care service that brings together 111, clinical assessment and primary care out of hours services in to a single service, making it easier for people to quickly access the support they need
  • Making it easier to access GP services by offering extended opening hours as well as out of hours services
  • Developing ‘mobile urgent treatment centres’ as part of the ambulance transformation project

There are also four key programmes planned to focus on prevention at scale:

  • Starting well – building the capacity and confidence of universal community services including midwifery, health visiting, childcare, early education provision, school nurses and a range of educational settings to deliver effective prevention with a long term impact
  • Living well – scaling support to change unhealthy behaviours in adults, focused on smoking, drinking, physical inactivity and being overweight
  • Ageing well – working effectively with those already experiencing ill-health to change behavioural risk factors, help them feel more supported in managing their own health, and prevent social isolation and loneliness.
  • Healthy places – maximise the potential of Dorset’s natural and built environment to improve health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce health inequalities.