Planned NHS service transfers in Bristol take effect from today

Monday, 25 March 2013

The way in which a number of services are delivered across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is changing from today (Monday, March 25).

Head and neck, ear, nose and throat (ENT), oral & maxillofacial and orthodontic services (OMFS) will be provided and managed by University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol).

Breast Care and Urology Services will be provided and managed by North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT).

Dr Chris Burton and Dr Sean O’Kelly, Medical Directors at NBT and UH Bristol, said: “These changes are designed to significantly improve clinical outcomes for patients and to create the conditions for centres of excellence to develop and grow in Bristol, which is good for healthcare in the long term in our region.

"The development of these service changes has been led from the start by our senior doctors and nurses, and has involved patients, carers and the wider public in their design.”

Mr Tim Whittlestone and Professor David Gillatt, Consultant Urologists, said: “Reconfiguration of urology services across Bristol is long overdue. We have designed a new service which makes access to general and specialist urological care simpler for our primary care colleagues and fairer for our patients.”

Mr Ceri Hughes, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, said: “The Head and Neck (ENT/OMFS) team really welcomes the centralisation of services. The move has involved collaboration from so many people including many of our patients. At last we will see excellent services concentrated in one location with central, efficient management and patients will be able to access their follow up near to their home.”

Mr Zen Rayter, Consultant Breast Surgeon and Mr Mike Shere, Associate Specialist Breast Clinician, said: “We are genuinely excited about merging symptomatic breast services in Bristol. By bringing all the clinical expertise together on one site, we will be able to provide a more consistent and higher quality service to our patients.

“However, this is only phase one. In May 2014, coinciding with the opening of the new hospital, we will be moving into a new Breast Centre on the Southmead site, Avon Breast Screening will also be joining us, and with the move of plastic surgery to the Southmead site, including breast reconstruction, patients will benefit from all Breast Services in Bristol being under one comprehensive, holistic roof.”

Patients with appointments coming up have been written to, explaining what the changes will mean to them and where and when their next appointment will be. GPs and Dentists have also been contacted so they are clear on how to refer patients and under whose care their patients now sit.

As the changes bring together the current clinical teams at Southmead and Frenchay, together with those from the Bristol Royal Infirmary, St Michael’s Hospital and the Dental Hospital, in most cases patients’ care will remain under their existing consultant team, although they may be seen in a different location.

These changes enable all three services to adopt the recommendations of the national Improving Outcomes Guidance for Cancers. In addition, The Darzi report (High Quality Care For All - NHS Next Stage Review Final Report, Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, June 2008) called for services to be ‘localised where possible, centralised where necessary’. This is a key principle underpinning all three service reviews.

The centralisation of these services, which was initiated by the service commissioners, has been agreed by both UH Bristol and NBT Trust Boards.

It has also been reviewed by NHS South of England, Specialised Commissioning and the three Clinical Commissioning Groups in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. 

The proposals have been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny committees in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire who examined the plans on behalf of local public and patients and they were satisfied the proposed changes were in the interests of patients.

Patients that have questions or queries have been asked to contact either their specialty department or the Trust patient advice services on:

  • North Bristol NHS Trust (Southmead or Frenchay Hospitals) on 0117 323 6646
  • University Hospitals Bristol (BRI, St Michael’s, Dental Hospitals) on 0117 342 3604