The elective care and standardisation of commissioning policies programme is one of our nine West Yorkshire and Harrogate priorities. Others include cancer, mental health, and acute hospitals working together, maternity, urgent and emergency care.
What do we want to do?
Elective care means health care and treatment that is planned or ‘chosen’ by people to help manage a health problem, such as an ongoing condition, rather than treatment that is required urgently or in an emergency.
Standardisation of polices means reducing differences in the way health care can be accessed in different places across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Reducing unnecessary differences helps to ensure that what care people receive is fair and consistent no matter where they live.
The ambition for the elective care and standardisation of commissioning policies programme is to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place so that we achieve the best health for the people of West Yorkshire and Harrogate, and achieve best value in how we use our resources.
By supporting people to make healthier choices and preventing avoidable ill-health we can, in the longer term, reduce the demand on some of the elective health care services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
Providing the most efficient care and making the best use of our existing capacity is important if we are to increase the responsiveness of our services, improve access for patients and reduce the number of people who have to wait longer than they should to receive treatment.
By harmonising our health policies we aim to remove the postcode lottery and variation that currently exists across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, so that access and eligibility criteria are the same for all people, regardless of where they live and all people have a positive experience of care.
You can find details of all engagement and consultation work that has taken place across West Yorkshire and Harrogate relating this this programme of work.
Our work plan
The programme is divided into the following strands which address various aspects of planned care:
1. Supporting healthier choices is a programme to ensure people are encouraged, and supported to make healthier lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, losing weight or becoming more physically active at the time when they are referred to elective care services.
2. Our work on outpatient services will reimagine and transform how and where outpatient services are delivered, focussing on the needs of the patients. This programme will focus on elective orthopaedic and musculoskeletal services, and on eye care services.
3. Working in partnership with acute hospitals we aim to reduce variation in the delivery of services across the area, maximising capacity to reduce waiting times and ensuring a sustainable NHS for the future.
4. People’s perception of a postcode lottery is driven in part by the variation in clinical thresholds and commissioning policies across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. We will work to align these across the area ensuring equality in access for patients, starting with procedures of limited clinical value and policy for elective orthopaedic and eye care procedures.
5. The prescribing programme will address unwarranted variation and waste, ensuring we are achieving best value from the medicines budget across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Committee of the Nine Clinical Commissioning Groups has agreed that we will move forward with this approach over the next couple of years. It will take time to build the support we need in our communities; however we are not starting from scratch.
We already have some fantastic services in place, but they need to be able to meet the needs of a larger number of people and we will need to change the way in which that support is offered.
We serve a diverse range of communities and recognise that people have different needs which require different solutions. A big part of this is not presuming we know what people think, but asking, involving and listening instead.
Over the next few months we will be working to understand the differences in elective health care services and policies across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, and what we need to do to reduce the variation. We will be looking for examples of where things are working well so we can spread this across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Most importantly we will be talking to staff and our communities.