Please note this engagement is now closed

Have your say on plans for health and care across Salford

Coronavirus is like nothing we’ve experienced in our lifetime. Lockdown and keeping people safe meant we quickly had to change the way we deliver health and care in Salford.

Yet during these difficult times, we have seen the true spirit of Salford shine through. The dedication from our key workers and the way our communities have supported each other and the most vulnerable is unprecedented.

Coronavirus has led us to change the way we do things. Now we want to hold onto the things that are working well by:

  • Rebuilding local health and care services to meet the physical, mental and social needs of communities
  • Resetting our ambitions for what the future health and care system in Salford should look like, including its relationship with the public and public services

And we need your help in doing it.

There are five themes to our Big Reset Conversation, described below. We want you to spend 10 minutes completing a survey on what you think of our plans and if you agree we are going in the right direction.

1. Prioritising patients

We are working together as the Salford health and care system to get us back on track following the coronavirus pandemic. We want to take what we’ve learnt over the last few months and reset our ambitions that will help us continue to deliver services that are better and fairer.

At the height of the pandemic, some services were temporarily paused to keep people safe at home.

We want to make sure that these people who have been waiting for surgery and treatments are offered an appointment as soon as possible in a safe and effective way.

As services open up, waiting lists will be prioritised so that those who have the greatest clinical need are seen as soon as possible. 

This means some people will have to wait longer than they may have originally. However, all patients will be contacted to let them know what is happening and to check if their needs have changed over the last few months.

We are also working with other hospitals across Greater Manchester to offer Salford residents the option to be seen at another location if this is possible, appropriate and preferable.

2.  Accessing health services

We want to keep you safe and make sure you are in the right place for whatever health and care you need.

NHS 111 is already in place to advise you if you’re unwell and not sure of where to go. Some new things we’re trying out include:

When you contact your GP practice, they will check to see if you need a GP consultation or can get appropriate care from other services such as physiotherapy or a pharmacy. To help with this, GPs have introduced online systems for patients and clinicians to decide what is best for them. This also means you no longer have to telephone your practice to make an appointment or visit in person and you can contact them at a time that suits you

If you go to Salford Royal’s Emergency Department, you’ll be met by a health professional who will help to identify the right kind of care for you. You may need to be treated in the Emergency Department, but if not you may be redirected to a speciality service, community care, your GP or given advice on how to look after yourself at home

Emergency services including North West Ambulance Service continue to remain in place.

These changes will not only help make sure you are in the right place for the right treatment, but it also avoids overcrowding in typically busy places like GP waiting rooms or the Emergency Department.

3. Health at home

Coronavirus has changed the way we deliver health and care services so as many people as possible can get the help and support they need without meeting face-to-face.

This has meant a huge amount of innovations happening across health and care. Although face-to-face appointments and support are still there for people who really need them, there are now lots more digital appointments, telephone consultations and email conversations available. We want to keep all of this good practice and offer patients different ways of accessing services now and in the future.

This helps people in a number of ways;

  • Easier for people who have difficulty travelling to appointments
  • Frees up clinicians’ time to see more patients
  • Safer for people to stay at home
  • Safer for staff seeing fewer patients face-to-face
  • More convenient for people who are working or have other commitments, taking up less time without having to travel to appointments or wait in waiting rooms
  • Improved access and experience for some people who prefer digital or telephone

4. Mental health

It is widely recognised that coronavirus is having – and will continue to have – a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of citizens because of self-isolation, loneliness or anxiety around catching the virus. There is also an increased need for bereavement support due to coronavirus-related deaths.

We’ve responded quickly by developing more easy-to-access support services. Feedback tells us this is working really well so we want to continue offering:

  • Increased telephone, digital and virtual consultations for staff and patients
  • Improved access to crisis support with the introduction of a 24/7 helpline for mental health service users
  • Developed a brand new service called Beyond for people who needed support managing anxiety or stress
  • A new bereavement support service across Greater Manchester to support people to manage their loss

5. A new relationship between health and care and communities

Coronavirus put our NHS through its biggest test in its 72-year history – and you responded. From sewing face masks to shopping for our shielded neighbours and walking their dogs, communities came together volunteering their time and support and the relationship between the NHS and the people of Salford has never been stronger.

We want to build on this and harness the strength, resilience and resources that lie not just in services, but also within individuals and communities.

Some of the things we are putting in place to make this happen include:

  • Supporting the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

Salford Together partners are investing into the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to help voluntary organisations, community groups, charities and social enterprises (and schools) continue to support communities around their health and wellbeing.

For example, we are investing around £1m per year via Salford CVS into the Third Sector Fund grants programme. Some of these funds have already been used to help during the coronavirus pandemic, focusing particularly on vulnerable communities like those living in food poverty, people with disabilities, black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, people living with domestic violence and digitally excluded. 

It is widely accepted that coronavirus has highlighted inequalities for different communities like black, Asian and ethnic minorities, older people, and people with disabilities. We know that the best way to reach these people is by working in partnership with voluntary organisations, community groups, charities and social enterprises who have trusted relationships, knowledge and skills to help make a difference. 

  • Community-led support

We want to change the way we work in adult social care and community health services in Salford. Instead of only looking at the things people can’t do or don’t have, we want to focus on what they do have and how they can build a stronger connection with their local community to help improve their health, wellbeing and resilience. You might hear this referred to as an ‘asset-based’ approach.

Part of this way of working will include having good conversations (not just doing assessments) to build a picture that helps us understand what matters to that person; what are their individual strengths, preferences and needs. From this we can help them to get the resources and support available in the local community – like voluntary organisations or social groups – who will help and empower them to live good, independent lives.

We will work with citizens and communities to shape and co-produce this new model.

Tacking inequalities

Central to all these plans is tackling inequality. Coronavirus has shone a spotlight on the inequalities faced by different groups, like our Black, Asian and ethnic minorities, older people and people with disabilities. 

Throughout all our plans, we will consider everybody’s needs. This means we need to continue collecting and monitoring data such as public health information, mental health and people who use services to help us understand any issues and target resources at those most in need.

For more information on the Big Reset Conversation, please watch the video below. The second video is in British Sign Language.

For British Sign Language, please watch the video below.

How your feedback has helped

The Big Reset Conversation has now closed.

A full report of findings is available here.

Some of the things you told us have helped to shape the way we are resetting services in Salford.  Your feedback shows that the vast majority of citizens who took part strongly agreed with the direction of travel for health and care.  In particular, participants thought that prioritising those with the highest clinical need was the right thing to do and offering different options to access services such as digital and telephone was viewed as a positive step.

Offering more mental health support was also seen as a huge positive step for Salford and you agreed with the services we proposed, in particular the 24/7 helpline and bereavement services.

There were some concerns about the ability of those who experience barriers to access such as people who’s first language isn’t English, people with sensory impairments or those who cannot access services digitally.  We are working hard with partners and citizens to listen to feedback and understand where there may be difficulties.  We have a number of initiatives in place to improve access including ensuring face to face or telephone appointments are available for those who need them, supporting people to be digitally active e.g. helping people with learning disabilities to get online and offering on demand interpreting services.

Other actions we have taken are included below.

Waiting lists

You told us we should ensure that the health of people on waiting lists does not deteriorate and that services keep in touch.

Patients on waiting lists are being reviewed and those with the highest clinical need are being treated first. Some people are having to wait longer for appointments and services have been getting in touch with patients to let them know what is happening with their appointment and check on their wellbeing.

A ‘Waiting Well’ programme is being introduced which will support patients to access alternative help and support whilst they are waiting for scheduled care and will provide information about how they can stay well.

Accessing appointments

You had concerns about not being able to access services face to face when you needed to.

We are reassuring citizens that face to face appointments will still take place for those who need it and are offering other ways for people to access services and support such as telephone consultations or email.  We have received lots of feedback to indicate that the majority of people prefer this approach as it gives them more choice, for example, people who work and find it difficult to get to appointments.

Mental Health

You said we needed to offer more support for mental health around the clock and for people in crisis.

We have continued to offer a 24/7 helpline for mental health as the majority of people agreed with this.  Many people responding to the survey mentioned the need for increased Crisis Support for people with mental health needs. In February 2021, Salford’s second intermediate care mental health bed (crisis bed) was established, providing a place for people in crisis (but not needing inpatient care) to be supported and helping people to leave inpatient care in a supportive way. In addition, Salford has been working on development of an Urgent Care Listening Lounge. This will be a community alternative to A+E for people presenting with mental health crisis, linking into to community support offers.