In the summer of 2017, local commissioners consulted the public in Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley about a proposed reconfiguration of Orthopaedic and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services across Aintree University Hospital, Broadgreen Hospital and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
The proposal positioned Aintree University Hospital as a site for emergency trauma and orthopaedic services, and Broadgreen Hospital as a site for elective trauma and orthopaedic services.
In order to facilitate the required changes, it was proposed that all elective and emergency ENT activity currently delivered at Broadgreen Hospital would be delivered at Aintree University Hospital.
Clinicians believed this new way of working will make it easier to share expertise and training, attract the most talented staff and meet the highest clinical standards.
A 12 week public consultation period was undertaken between 26th June and 15th September 2017 in order to inform the reconfiguration of both of these services.
It was clear from the consultation feedback that there was support for the changes, and the majority of people who responded believed the proposal would improve the quality of care patients receive.
However, some concerns were raised over public transport and this feedback helped the trust to understand what arrangements would need to be put in place to support access. As a result, a number of steps were agreed.
The trust would provide information about transport options in patient letters; promote familiarisation visits for patients who have not been to the hospital their surgery will be performed at; and where access issues are identified for specific patients, the option for afternoon surgery and therefore a later admission time will be made available, provided it is clinically safe.
The full findings from the consultation, as well as further background information which was published during the consultation, can be found at the bottom of this page.
The proposal was formally approved by both former trust boards (May 2018), the Joint Committee of the North Mersey Commissioners (November 2018) and the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee for Cheshire & Merseyside (March 2019).
Following months of preparation to ensure the transition to the new models of care were as safe as possible for patients and staff, the changes to orthopaedics went ahead in November 2019.
At the same time as delivering the changes outlined above, the trust also identified an opportunity to align and streamline outpatient booking processes across trauma and orthopaedic services. This new way of scheduling appointments will be based on a six-week cycle, which will allow clinical rotas to inform how appointments are booked. The Trust wrote to those affected to advise them of the changes.
The Trust's integration and reconfiguration of elective ENT also took place in October 2019 in order to enable the changes to orthopaedics to happen. This meant that elective ENT activity, both surgical and inpatient, delivered at Broadgreen Hospital moved to Aintree University Hospital. Emergency ENT was also scheduled to reconfigure at the same time, but was delayed and then further impacted by Covid-19 during 2020.
As a result the integration of emergency ENT went ahead on 30th November 2020, meaning that ENT patients will now be able to attend both emergency departments at the Royal and Aintree, but if they need urgent care or treatment they will be transferred to a dedicated ENT bed at Aintree University Hospital where they will receive emergency treatment or surgery.
For those patients attending the Royal Liverpool University Hospital with a non-urgent need their care will be managed through an outpatient appointment which will be will be given to them on discharge, as is currently the case.