It is complicated, but there is a balance between patient choice, financial viability and patient safety.
From a commissioning point of view, if the local provider is performing well, we would always want to keep that going.
We are part of the wider NHS and need to work with local colleagues to ensure the whole system functions. There will be a shift from hospital care and probably a general reduction in the number of acute providers. The question is whether the driver for this will be patient choice and quality or geography and the cost per unit of that provider.
Our local trust wasn’t performing terribly well so patients had said they wanted to go somewhere else. But that has been reversed and now it is performing really well.
Patients who were choosing to go elsewhere are saying ‘my local hospital is the best place’.
It’s about getting the right number of services locally.
Dr Helen Tattersfield is chair of NHS Lewisham CCG and a GP in Brom