Options for the future of Liverpool Women’s Hospital published
Four options for the future of services provided by Liverpool Women's Hospital have been published today (6 January 2017).
The review has involved staff from NHS organisations across the city, including midwives, nurses and doctors from the Women's and other hospitals. The public were also asked for their views on the case for change at the hospital last summer, and these were used to develop the four options.
The options are:
- Relocate women's and neonatal services to a new hospital building on the same site as the new Royal Liverpool Hospital
- Relocate women's and neonatal services to a new hospital building on the same site as Alder Hey Children's Hospital
- Make major improvements to Liverpool Women's Hospital on the current Crown Street site
- Make smaller improvements to the current Crown Street site.
The options are included in a draft pre-consultation business case (PCBC), which was presented to the Board of Liverpool Women's today.
The PCBC is a detailed technical document which explains how these options have been developed and how a preferred option was chosen.
The next stage of consultation is likely to commence in June 2017 (after local council elections). We know that the future of these services is one close to the heart of local people and that people may have strong opinions and concerns. We would encourage everyone to share any views they have on the proposals by responding to the consultation when it goes live. The draft PCBC document states that no final decision would be taken without first considering the views gathered during a public consultation.
If you would like to be kept informed about the process then you can sign up for notifications here or by calling 0151 296 7537.
Here's what some of the key NHS bodies involved in the decision making process have to say about the proposals:
The preferred option is to relocate women's and neonatal services to a new hospital building on the same site as the new Royal Liverpool Hospital. This is because it offers the most benefits for patients and provides solutions to the challenges set out in the case for change, including improved safety and patient experience, reduced transfers of patients and less separation of mothers and babies. This option is judged to support long term clinical and financial sustainability and best value for money.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, Clinical Director for the Healthy Liverpool Hospitals Programme, said: "It is really important to us that this is an open and transparent process. We hope that publishing the draft business case will help the public understand what we're doing and see how the views they shared with us last summer are being used to shape the future of these services. We want to ensure women and newborns receive the very best care possible and we believe the preferred option will allow us to do this."
Andrew Loughney, Medical Director at Liverpool Women's, said: "Midwives, nurses and doctors at Liverpool Women's have been central to developing options for the future as part of this review. We are confident that the preferred option is best placed to enable us to address the main issues facing our patients. Moving to a new purpose built building would mean that we could provide the very best care for future generations of people in Merseyside."
All four options would require significant capital investment and NHS England and NHS Improvement, the regulators for the NHS, have asked that further work is now done to develop detailed funding plans. This work needs to show how capital funding could be secured and demonstrate that it represents value for money. It is recognised that this presents a challenge in the current environment of constrained NHS resources.
At the same time, the final version of the PCBC needs to reflect the findings of a broader review of neonatal services, which is currently being undertaken by the Cheshire and Merseyside Neonatal Network and which will report in the spring of 2017.
Once this additional work is completed a final version of the business case will be submitted to NHS England for approval. If NHS regulators are assured there is a sound case to invest, the options will go out to formal public consultation, giving the public an opportunity to share their views on detailed proposals for the future of women's and neonatal services.
Dr Lemmens added: "I want to stress that this is an ongoing process and no final decisions will be made until the conclusion of any future public consultation."