Online consultation events on planned £450 million changes to Leicester hospitals
A series of online events has been arranged to help people find out more and ask questions about proposals to spend £450 million transforming acute hospital and maternity services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The events have been arranged as part of the Building Better Hospitals for the Future public consultation, which launched at the end of September and runs until 21 December 2020.
The consultation concerns the services delivered at the three main hospitals in Leicester, run by University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust, as well as services delivered at the midwifery-led unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Melton Mowbray.
The consultation events will take place online, using Microsoft Teams, due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. To ensure people who aren’t online are still able to participate, there is an option to listen in by telephone and submit any questions in advance.
The events complement other engagement activities being run by voluntary and community sector organisations to reach people in specific communities and particularly those who may be digitally excluded.
There are three types of online events – question and answer sessions with a panel of invited guests, public events with the opportunity to discuss the consultation, and workshops on specific topics.
The question and answer panel sessions will be able to host 1,000-plus attendees, with people able to ask questions during the event via the question and answer box within the Microsoft Teams Live platform, or submit them up to two hours in advance. The sessions are due to take place on October 12 (7-8.30pm), October 29 (10-11.30am) and December 7 (7-8.30pm).
The public events will host up to 250 people. People will be able to ask questions in exactly the same way as they would have done in a face-to-face public meeting, using the functionality of Microsoft Teams. The public events are due to take place on October 14 (2-3.30pm), October 15 (7-8.30pm), October 31 (10-11.30am), November 12 (7-8.30pm), November 21 (2-3.30pm), November 27 (10-11.30am), December 2 (7-8.30pm), December 12 (2-3.30pm) and December 13 (2-3.30pm).
In addition to these events, a number of workshops on specific topics within the consultation are being held so people can get into a discussion with others and give more detailed insights and views. These will be limited to a pre-registered audience of up to 15 people. People will have the choice of joining a workshop covering one of three topics on each date.
The workshops will take place on:
- October 26 (6-7.30pm), with topics covering a general discussion, Leicester Royal Infirmary, and Leicester General
- November 9 (11am-12.30pm) with topics covering a general discussion, carers, and maternity
- November 18 (6-7.30pm) with topics covering maternity, Glenfield Hospital, and Leicester General
- November 19 (6-7.30pm) with topics covering a general discussion, Leicester Royal Infirmary, and the children’s hospital
- November 23 (6-7.30pm) with topics covering a general discussion, Glenfield Hospital, and Leicester Royal Infirmary
Details of how to join the online events will be available on the consultation website www.betterhospitalsleicester.nhs.uk
All the insights and feedback from the events will be captured and incorporated into the consultation to be analysed and evaluated.
Andy Williams, Chief Executive for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland clinical commissioning groups, said:
“These online events are a great way of helping more people to find out about the proposals and ask questions of leading clinicians and managers, than would have been possible at face-to-face meetings before the pandemic.
“We are spreading the message far and wide through the consultation documents, flyers, posters, media publicity, website, videos, social media and online meetings. In addition, voluntary and community sector representatives are supporting these efforts by using their extensive networks to further engage with local communities. We want as many people as possible to be engaged in this consultation and to have their say by completing the consultation questionnaire.”
The Building Better Hospitals for the Future proposals are set to deliver a number of significant changes in improving patient care, achieving better patient outcomes, and getting staff all working in the best place to make this happen.
Developments would include:
- 139 new in-patient beds
- A major planned care treatment centre at Glenfield
- Two new super intensive care units (ICUs) with 100 beds across the two sites - doubling current capacity
- A dedicated single-site children’s hospital at the Royal Infirmary - the first in the East Midlands
- Development of a new maternity hospital at the Royal Infirmary site
- Extra car parking across the sites
If the plans are given the go-ahead, Leicester General would be downgraded to a ‘community health campus’ that would provide non-acute services. These would still include an in-patient stroke recovery ward, x-ray and scans unit, and a diabetes centre.
The consultation also looks at services delivered at the midwifery-led unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Melton Mowbray.