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Humber Acute Services Programme
4th February 2022
Issue 6
Welcome to the programme newsletter
Welcome to the latest edition of Humber Acute Services programme stakeholder newsletter. In it you'll find the latest news and updates about the programme, alongside information about how you can get involved, share your ideas or ask questions.

We hope you will find this update helpful and interesting.
Programme Update - the Interim Clinical Plan
Programme One: The Interim Clinical Plan
The Humber Acute Services Programme is about developing plans for the long-term future of hospital services across the Humber. It is about tackling some long-standing challenges in the way our hospital services are run to make sure we can continue to provide safe and effective care for you and your families.

Alongside the work we have been doing to develop plans for the long-term, we have also been working to fast-track improvements in the following services – or specialties:
  • Dermatology, Neurology, Oncology and Haematology
  • Cardiology, ENT and Ophthalmology
  • Urology, Gastroenterology and Respiratory
This work is referred to as the Interim Clinical Plan (or Programme 1). The Interim Clinical Plan is about bringing together teams of doctors, nurses, therapists and other healthcare professionals from Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (HUTH) and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) to help them make their services the best they can be. Working together in this way is already bringing about improvements in some services.

Changes may look different for different services, because the challenges and opportunities for working together are not the same for all services. However, by working together, the two hospital trusts are helping us to strengthen clinical teams (many of which are small and/or carrying vacancies). Working together also helps to ensure we offer the same level of care for all patients across the Humber regardless of where they live.

Working together means we can…
  • Provide the same level and quality of care by sharing knowledge and expertise between the two hospital trusts
  • Make best use of very limited resources, such as experienced specialist nurses or highly specialised equipment
  • Get patients directly to the specialist they need rather than making them go through multiple stages of referrals
Working together also means we can improve the way patients across the Humber are cared for, by:
  • Limiting waiting times by making it easier for patients to get to the test, treatment or specialist advice they need first time.
  • Learning from what worked well during the pandemic and using this to make services better in the future.
  • Reducing waiting lists by streaming how we deliver services and by working better with GPs and services delivered in the community.
We are learning from and building on the improvements we’re making in the short/medium term through working together across the Humber as we develop plans for the longer term.
Changing the way we work – a real team effort
Despite the additional and ongoing pressures in hospitals that have been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, staff from all Interim Clinical Plan specialties, alongside colleagues from a wide range of support functions, have made a tremendous effort in bringing services together – continuing to devote the time necessary to think about and plan how services can work together. We saw the first of these Humber-wide services – Neurology – go live in October 2021, meaning patients across the Humber, and those on the south bank in particular, are able to access a more streamlined service and get straight to the specialist they need without extra handovers and extra waiting.

As the focus of the Interim Clinical Plan moves away from developing plans to making changes on the ground – patients will see more specialties working as Humber-wide services over the coming months. Claire Hansen (Interim Clinical Plan Programme Director) said, ‘Seeing how teams have developed and are working together – across different, complex organisations – to improve services for patients across the Humber has been something special. Achieving the levels of collaboration we’ve seen – under ordinary circumstances – would have been an outstanding achievement. But to achieve the level of commitment and desire during the pandemic, when we all know hospital services have been under such pressure for a prolonged period, is just exceptional. Everyone has been fantastic, and I can’t thank all those involved enough!’

We’ll have more to say about different services in future editions of this newsletter. Meanwhile, should you have any specific questions then please get in touch with the Interim Clinical Plan team by asking us a question or emailing us at
Developing our longer-term plans
Can you help?
We have been listening to feedback and ideas from people across the Humber over the past 18 months and these have really helped to influence our emerging ideas.

As we develop these ideas for how services could look in the future, we would also like to hear from particular groups within our community, to help us better understand how they may be impacted by any potential changes to acute hospital services. This feedback will help us evaluate different potential models of care and ensure that we are continuously seeking to reduce health inequalities in the Humber area.
The groups we would like to engage with include:
  • People living with serious and enduring mental illness
  • People living with poor mental health, including parents and carers.
  • Adults and children with learning disabilities or difficulties, including parents and carers.
  • People from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds
  • People who identify as LGBTQ+
  • People affected by homelessness.
How can you help?
  • Do you work with or support any of these groups, or know someone who does?
  • Do you know of any pre-existing groups we could attend?
  • Would you like to be involved and represent the voices of the people you work with?
If you answer 'yes' to any of the above, then please click here to register your interest in hosting or supporting a focus group.
Your Questions Answered
Travelling across the Humber Bridge
What plans are in place for patient treatment and staff movement across the Humber if the Humber Bridge is forced to shut for a prolonged period of time?

Through our normal operational planning, we regularly plan for various contingencies (such as the potential closure of the Humber Bridge, or the planning we did in advance of Brexit to keep services running in the event of traffic disruption at or around the ports) and ensure we have plans in place to mitigate any risks these pose to service delivery.

Fortunately, the complete closure of the Humber Bridge is a rare occurrence and since its opening over 40 years ago, the bridge has only been closed to all traffic three times. The most recent being 9 and 10 October 2021 - to undertake overnight works to repair faults caused by Storm Ciara in February 2020. However, provisions were made to allow emergency services vehicles to cross the bridge during the closure if required. Prior to this, the last time the bridge was completely closed was due to very high winds in the early 2000s – so complete closures are a rare occurrence.

As we plan for the future of services, we are thinking very carefully about all aspects of travel and transport. We have a specific transport workstream focusing on the important issues around travel and access for patients and staff. Through this work, as we develop and refine potential clinical models, we’re continuing to involve and engage a range of different partners – looking at potential travel and access impacts and solutions. As part of this, we will continue to work with transport providers from the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector, ambulance services, local authority transport planners and independent sector transport providers.
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Ask A Question
You can ask a question about any aspect of the programme at any time by using the online question portal or by sending an email.
Read again
We launched our revamped Humber Acute Services programme newsletter in July 2021. Each newsletter includes a range of information about the programme and you can access previous editions by clicking the links below:
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