Improving elective care and making services available for everyone

Improving how people access elective care

When people need planned care, like an operation or a specialist check-up, we want to make sure they feel supported through their journey. We will be giving better support through their local GP to get the most out of their care. For example, we want to help people lose weight and quit smoking before surgery so they can get the best possible results and stay out of hospital in the future.

We also know the system can be very confusing. Currently patients can be referred through A&E and even through outpatient services after they've received other care. We want to ensure smoother pathways to care so that patients only access planned care not through their GP in exceptional circumstances. Once patients have been referred for treatment we want to join up the different services they need.

Musculoskeletal services

We are looking at how we can improve services for muscle and joint problems (musculoskeletal services) to ensure equal access to GP based services. We want to offer fair access to therapy, assessment and treatment to all patients, no matter where they live in Lambeth. We also want to reduce the number of people who need to go to hospital by providing follow up physiotherapy services in the community. We also want to make it easier for patients to manage their health condition and access support services.

We recently undertook a tender process to procure an integrated musculoskeletal (MSK) service that will provide clinical treatment, assessment and triage for MSK conditions, as well as local physiotherapy services.  The service will be available from 1 November 2014 and will be delivered through a partnership between existing local providers, building on the clinical expertise of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, King’s College Hospital, and Physiotherapy Solutions (Crystal Palace).

We asked patients and local service providers for their views on the current services available in Lambeth, and how these might be improved in the future.  Your views helped to establish key elements of the service, including:

  • Locations and opening times: the service will operate at eight convenient locations across Lambeth, and will include early morning, evening, and Saturday clinics.
  • A joined-up service: the service will include MCATTS and physiotherapy services, with links to local diagnostics services. 

Ophthalmology and gynaecology

We are also reviewing ophthalmology and gynaecology services. Ophthalmology is the specialist care you receive for eye and vision health problems. Gynaecology describes the services which treat the female reproductive and sexual systems – the uterus, vagina and ovaries. We'll be looking at how people access these kinds of services and how we can make the journey through your care easier.

Gynaecology ultrasound

Women in Lambeth who need an ultrasound scan for non-urgent gynaecological symptoms can currently have their scan at hospital or in one of two community-based clinics in Lambeth. The contract for the community-based service finishes in September 2018.  We are considering decommissioning a community-based service from October 2018, following an unsuccessful process to secure a suitable provider. Read more and let us know what you think here: Changes to gynaecology ultrasound services web May 2018.pdf