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Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group and Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust unveil plans for increased patient numbers at Newark Hospital

Newark Hospital web 

Commitment to Newark Hospital


Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group – the GP-led organisation that guides care strategy and funding for the area – and Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have published a refreshed vision of its long-term plans for Newark Hospital.

More and more patients are benefiting from investments and improvements made to Newark Hospital over the past three years; and there is an ongoing commitment for the number of surgical, medical and diagnostic services offered on-site to continue rising in future years, according to an NHS strategy document published this week.

Based on the 2013 review of health needs and services, the report – Newark Hospital Vision and Strategy, Three Years On – updates the vision for the hospital and how it fits in with planned local changes to hospital and community NHS care.

The vision includes:

  • Following the completion of a £700,000 investment in the hospital’s urgent care centre, which will be fully open from this month, the hospital will introduce a greater GP presence at weekends as part of further links with the community and a move towards becoming the primary care hub
  • Commitment to further increases in the range of surgical and medical day case services available
  • More outpatient consultations and diagnostic tests available for a wider range of conditions
  • As part of the long-term partnership between Sherwood Forest Hospitals and Nottingham University Hospitals, the ongoing development of plans for a greater range and depth of services at Newark.

The strategy has been drawn up with oversight and guidance from the Newark Healthy Communities Partnership Group, which includes members from Newark Town Council, charity and volunteer groups, public stakeholders and NHS and local authority health and social care providers.

The group’s brief is to develop an evidence base to evaluate improvements and investments made within the hospital over the past three years, consideration of how ongoing progress will be monitored, and to ensure the best use of the hospital site as an integral part of wider health community developments.

The strategy confirms that surgical activity at Newark Hospital will continue to focus on non-complex procedures, and sets out local healthcare’s commitment to ongoing investment into the Newark Hospital site.

This follows recent developments, for example, in 2015 and 2016 a number of services were introduced, including non-complex breast surgery, blood transfusions and treatments specifically to support those with long-term conditions.

Additionally, Sherwood Forest Hospitals has worked with local GPs to create a primary care hub – a single point for minor injuries and illnesses when a patient’s own GP is not available.

Figures for activity at Newark show that:

  • During the six months to the end of May 2016 there were 37,660 attendances at outpatient clinics at Newark – an increase of nine percent on the same period to May 2015
  • Operating theatre procedures in the same period were 3,522 – an increase of ten percent on the year before
  • Attendances at the urgent care centre rose to 10,716 – a rise of 5.5% for the same period.

The vision confirms that emergency surgery and emergency treatment will continue to be provided at specialist centres based at Nottingham University Hospitals and King’s Mill Hospital, where there is appropriate anaesthetic and surgical back-up to provide 24-hour emergency theatre cover to deal with unforeseen complications.

Over the past three years, the outcome of patients suffering stroke and heart attacks has improved significantly as a result of patients accessing specialist services directly.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ director of strategic planning Peter Wozencroft said: "The strategy confirms Newark Hospital’s place as a key part of NHS healthcare services within the Newark area and for Nottinghamshire as a whole, with the proposed merger of Sherwood Forest Hospitals and Nottingham University Hospitals, which will unite Newark, Mansfield Community and King’s Mill Hospitals with the City Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre, and Ropewalk House in Nottingham.

“Our long-term commitment to Newark Hospital is clear, and our planned merger with Nottingham University Hospitals offers a range of further possibilities to increase the number of services and clinics running from the Newark site.”

Phil Lyons, independent chair of the Newark Healthy Communities Partnership Group welcomed the new strategy.

He said: “It is so important that services remain of the highest possible quality and safety.  There is a bright future for Newark Hospital which is a much loved health facility for the local community.

“The new strategy should lead to a stronger offer for the public which can only be good news for the people of Newark and their future health outcomes.

“I applaud the continued dedication of the staff who work at Newark Hospital and who make it a valued part of local NHS services.”

Dr Amanda Sullivan, chief officer for NHS Mansfield and Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood CCGs said: “The data shows that Newark Hospital continues to play an important role in community health services and is a highly valued facility. The strategy refresh is important because we need to make sure that we adapt our plans according to how the services are being used by the public and are within the available resources.

“Pressure on our financial position means we need to be as clear as we can about how Newark Hospital is developed so it accurately meets the needs of the communities it serves and remains sustainable.

“It is widely accepted that really poorly patients have much better outcomes if they are taken immediately to a specialist centre such as King’s Mill Hospital or Nottingham University Hospitals. This allows Newark to prosper as a centre for urgent care and outpatient and out-of-hours GP services.”