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Jane Kenny, Lead Nurse for the Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme talks about the role patients can play in creating new hospital facilities.

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What is your role on the New Hospitals Programme?

My professional background as a nurse with 30 years’ experience means that I’ve heard from patients first-hand about what matters most to them. I relish the opportunity to work with patients in different ways to co-design the outcome, ensuring a strong patient voice throughout. The needs of our patients are at the heart of everything we do.

I’ll ensure we ask patients, senior leaders and team members about what is most important to them in creating new hospital facilities.

Why did you want to get involved?

I am passionate about the prospect of leading on the design for models of healthcare that will improve health outcomes for our local communities. I want to make sure we don’t just look at what’s right in front of us now but consider all options.

Ensuring robust patient engagement, involvement and experience is critical. We must not assume we know what people want. It’s essential to capture the views of seldom listened to groups and make sure their voices are heard. Lancashire and South Cumbria is home to some of the most deprived areas in the North West and engaging with those residents to improve services for them is key.

How do you propose involving local people in the decisions about the new hospital facilities?

During my time in nursing, there has been a welcome shift from patients passively receiving treatment to them now asking for more information and expecting to be involved in choices about treatment. We want all our patients to feel more empowered and informed to make health care decisions.

We need to give people the opportunity to focus on how services are provided now and how things can be done differently in the future. It’s important to look beyond the limitations of our existing buildings and ways of working.

Involving schools and other educational institutions is extremely important. This is a long-term project and we recognise today’s young people are our future employees as well as patients. We want them to have a stake in planning these services.

What is your vision for the hospital facilities of the future?

The new hospital facilities must be carbon neutral, eco-friendly and help deliver the aspiration to move our way of working from disease treatment to health management.

This is a huge opportunity to integrate new technologies, redesign how we deliver hospital care, rethink how we interact with other health care providers and look at how care can be provided closer to people’s homes, where possible.

We already know from patient feedback that our current sites are difficult to navigate, so we need to improve access as well as deliver shorter waiting times and ensure all patients have timely access to care and expertise, while enhancing the privacy and dignity of all our services. We need to design buildings which are as flexible as possible to meet the challenges of the future.

My recent experience of Covid and seeing how teams were required to change at speed and provide a very different kind of service made me realise what is possible and what is required to future-proof our NHS.

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Author: Jane Kenny, Lead Nurse for the Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme.

Latest news

We are encouraging people to provide their views. Capturing your voice is an important part of the process and your comments on our longlist of proposals are warmly welcomed.

Read about the problems that we hope to address through funding for new hospital facilities, and how this supports ambitions to improve health and wellbeing and deliver better care for local people.

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