Developing One NHS in Dorset is a collaboration between Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The hospitals are working in partnership to make the most of local NHS resources, now and for the future.

Developing One NHS in Dorset is one of 50 vanguards across the country which were selected to take a lead on the development of ‘new care models’ which will act as blueprints for the NHS moving forward and inspiration to the rest of the health and care system.

We have established 10 workstreams looking at different patient and support services: stroke, ophthalmology, women’s health, paediatrics, cardiology, non-surgical cancer, pathology, radiology, health informatics and business support services. Click on the titles below for more information about each workstream.

To find out more about the vanguards you can visit NHS England’s website.

You can also keep up to date with Developing One NHS in Dorset news by visiting these web pages or following our Twitter feed @OneNHSinDorset.

Our stroke workstream has been very successful in improving standards of care for patients across Dorset. This success has been down to a lot of hard work from frontline staff in the three hospitals, supported by the collaboration the vanguard has brought.

Through working much more closely together teams have standardised pathways and shared protocols and best practice – learning from each other for the benefit of patients. The stroke workstream is a great example of what can be achieved with true partnership working and we are keen to spread the word nationally so its success can be replicated elsewhere.

Stroke Workstream Clinical Lead Dr Suzanne Ragab said the key to success has been a willingness by all stroke teams to collaborate, share and work together for the benefit of their patients: “Clinical teams from each of the acutes haven’t worked so closely together before and it was a significant culture change initially. The Dorset vanguard has offered a forum that supports collaboration and we have since adopted a real ‘Team Dorset’ approach from a stroke perspective. Now we are all benefitting from sharing good practice and working on joint solutions. It has been so successful that we are keen to continue this approach into a Dorset Stroke Governance Forum which will carry on beyond the vanguard.”

Workstream Management Lead Claire Stalley added: “Everyone wants the best stroke care for Dorset and there’s been a realisation that we can’t do it on our own, we have to do this together. That’s what motivates the teams from each hospital and it keeps us focussed on the wider picture and how we can collaborate to provide the very best services for our patients.”

All the trusts are working together to make the best use of resources both in hospital and in the community to minimise waiting times for patients and improve access for timely specialist care when needed.

Gynaecology staff from the three acute trusts are working together to shape the future of their services. They are working towards the alignment of gynaecology services across Dorset by focusing on the patient journey. They have agreed a vision statement that represents what they are trying to achieve – ‘To provide a single gynaecology service for the women of Dorset, delivering patient-centred, seamless, equitable care.’ Staff will now become part of small working parties for each patient pathway to work through the changes in detail to standardise services across Dorset.

The paediatric teams are changing their ways of working to ensure that all services across the county meet the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) standards. They are rolling out patient pathways developed by the Wessex Healthier Together project and improving the accessibility of timely specialist advice for GPs. As part of this work patients needing rapid access to a booked appointment should be accommodated more easily following local reviews of outpatient services. Working together with the other acute providers has enabled teams to share ideas and results from pilots and encouraged all teams to improve the services they provide for patients.

The teams are also linking with primary care to support education and service development around paediatrics in the community. This should in time support more patients being safely managed in the community setting.

Cardiology teams are working together to standardise patient pathways in their sub-specialties and improve links between acute and community services. They are also focusing on improving the provision of advice and guidance and developing a system-wide learning and continuous improvement programme. Other areas include enhancing preventative and proactive care management and developing more collaborative approaches to service staffing.

A clinical lead for cancer services across Dorset has been appointed and the vanguard has led a Pan-Dorset Cancer Partnership meeting.

We are forging ahead with our vision to create a first class integrated pathology service for the whole of Dorset. The ‘One Dorset Pathology’ service for Dorset County Hospital, Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals will provide clinicians, patients and carers with timely diagnostic information to help them make informed decisions.

The partnership will ensure a consistent and high standard of service across the area and will maximise efficiency in the use of resources. Staff will be able to develop to their full potential and work to deliver continuous service improvement.

The vanguard programme has provided an opportunity to bring together radiology teams from Dorset’s three acute hospitals and colleagues in Dorset HealthCare to develop the services their patients will need in the future.

Part of their vision is to link the radiology systems to provide a better quality experience for patients, with patient images from all sites linked in one record. Radiology Workstream Clinical Lead Dr Robert Ward explains: “It is clear that the future direction of healthcare in Dorset is one of collaboration and integration, not only between organisations but also individual clinicians. It is therefore essential that radiological images and reports are easily accessible for clinicians across the county, wherever they may be working. This, together with the ability to cross-site report diagnostic imaging studies, is one of our main aspirations in the radiology vanguard.”

The three acute hospitals have teamed up with Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and Dorset HealthCare to explore ways of making our health informatics functions fit for the future. Effective and efficient health informatics will be key to moving towards a digitally-enabled Dorset which will support the delivery of high-quality healthcare across the county.

In order to achieve this it is recommended that a shared service for health informatics services across Dorset is developed. An Outline Business Case is being developed to evaluate the options. Health informatics staff in each organisation will be fully involved in the discussions as plans develop. Working groups are already in place for systems, infrastructure and information.

The three acute hospitals have teamed up with Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and Dorset Healthcare to explore ways of making our ‘back office’ functions more efficient.

Representatives from each of the five organisations have come together to form a steering group which will look at how best to collaborate. The group is currently focussing on key corporate areas which are required by all the organisations – finance, human resources, procurement, and estates and facilities.