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Reasons for change

Hospitals across the UK are facing up to new challenges that mean the way many services were organised in the last 20 years or so won’t meet the needs of 21st Century healthcare.

The world is moving on and our hospitals must do so too:

  • The birth rate has fallen dramatically over many years – this, in turn, affects the
    number of children our doctors and nurses can see and treat. If they don’t see
    enough patients, they can’t keep their skills up to the level required and might
    not be able to complete their professional training
  • In any service with too few patients attending, we find it very difficult to
    attract and keep staff – this is a particular problem with one element of
    Inverclyde’s services...the Children’s Acute Assessment Unit
  • Improving technology means that we are able to treat far more children within
    a single day as outpatients with less need for overnight or longer stays in hospital
    – this means we have to change the balance of what we do towards outpatient
    and community-based care
  • New guidelines from the Royal Colleges, which set training standards for doctors
    and nurses, mean that the current arrangements at Inverclyde are no longer
    appropriate
  • Safety is the key issue and for emergency care this means qualified staff being
    on hand – national changes to the hours doctors and consultants can work
    makes constant, safe staffing coverage over many sites very difficult to achieve

Taken together, these issues mean we have to come up with a way of making
Children’s Services at Inverclyde both safe and sustainable.