The need to change

Helping people to live longer, healthier lives

We currently have good NHS services in Dorset. However, rising demand on services means we need to make significant changes to ensure you continue to have high-quality safe care that the NHS can afford both now and in the future.

It is important for people to stay well and better manage long-term conditions. To help them we will ensure they have the right information and support.

This can be achieved by:

  • Helping people to avoid becoming seriously ill and possibly needing hospital care

  • Integrating health and care to provide more joined-up services

  • All health services working together

  • Multi-disciplinary teams providing a mix of skills

  • Care planning for an individual

  • Improved access to GPs and community services

  • More care closer to home

“We want everyone in Dorset to receive the same high quality of care, regardless of where they live, or what health conditions they have.”

Our health needs are changing

The number of people living in Dorset is growing and is set to rise by around 50,000 by 2020. Of these 70% will be aged over 70.

More people are living longer with more long-term conditions like diabetes and dementia. This will increase demand for, and pressure on, our health services.

At the same time, fewer of us are suffering heart attacks, strokes or major accidents and if we do, we are more likely to survive. This is a good thing but puts pressure on the health and social care system.

What will happen if we do nothing?

Doing nothing is not an option if we want to ensure people continue to receive the generally good care that is currently provided in Dorset.  If we don’t plan to do things differently it is likely that:

  • Local people will have more problems getting appointments

  • We will see an increase in demand but no increase in the number of hospital beds

  • There will be an increasing number of sick patients but no more staff to care for them

  • More operations will be cancelled

  • There will be worsening health outcomes and survival rates

These are just some examples of what might happen. That is why we started the Clinical Services Review (CSR).

Because of these mounting pressures, we ran two reviews on how Dorset’s NHS services could be delivered in the future. One, the Clinical Services Review (CSR), focused on how acute and community services could be delivered differently, and the other, the Mental Health Acute Care Pathway (MHACP), focused on improving how Dorset’s acute mental health services are delivered. We went out to public consultation on both reviews to ask people who use the services, local people in Dorset and the surrounding areas and NHS staff what they thought of the proposals. The invaluable feedback we received helped to shape the final decisions on how Dorset’s residents will receive care in the future.