Health professionals at NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) want to hear your views to help shape the future of urgent and emergency care at Bassetlaw Hospital.

£17.6 million is being invested to develop a modern centre for urgent and emergency care services at Bassetlaw Hospital, creating an ‘Emergency Village’. The new Emergency Village offers an exciting opportunity to locate the Children’s Assessment Unit and children’s Outpatient Department next to the Emergency Department to make best use of specialist nursing and medical staff within the hospital.  This creates the option of enhancing children’s services within the footprint of the expansion.  By co-locating services, this development also provides the opportunity to secure a permanent overnight inpatient service for children.

Dr Eric Kelly Chair at Bassetlaw CCG said “This impressive investment at Bassetlaw Hospital is extremely positive.  It provides us with an opportunity to look at how we deliver urgent and emergency services for the people of Bassetlaw in a way which meets the needs of our community now and for years to come.

“It also allows us to address the challenges which led to the temporary closure of the overnight children’s inpatient service in January 2017 due to safety issues. We understood the strength of feeling from local people when this change was initially introduced.  We now want to ensure we consult widely with local people before we make any further changes.”

In 2017 and as a result of chronic staffing shortages nationally as well as locally, the CCG and DBTH took the difficult decision to temporarily suspend overnight stays for children receiving care at Bassetlaw Hospital. Instead, children and young people who required inpatient care were transferred by ambulance largely to Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI), some 17 miles away.

Since that time, around 2% of all paediatric attendances have been transferred to DRI on an annual basis – accounting for around 200 patients each year.  Less than half of these children actually stayed longer than 24 hours for their inpatient care.

To understand whether local people support the potential change, a twelve week consultation exercise will begin on 7th December 2021 and run until the end of February 2022.

Views are being sought on what is important in the development of the Emergency Village.  Participants will also be presented with three options for the future of children’s urgent and emergency care at Bassetlaw Hospital. The first option is to continue with the current temporary operating model.  The second option to create a dedicated Children’s Assessment Unit (CAU) that closes to overnight admissions.  The third option is to create a dedicated CAU but maintain overnight admissions and short-term stays.

David Purdue, Chief Nurse at DBTH, said “Patients and their families tell us that, wherever it is safe to do so, they prefer to receive care closer to their homes. We believe that by co-locating children’s services at the front door of the Hospital we will be able to enhance our current service by providing short stay assessments any time – day or night. This will mean that for many more patients and their families they will be able to receive urgent care at Bassetlaw Hospital before being safely discharged home, without being transferred to DRI for an overnight stay. This model still requires us to retain our fantastic specialist children’s nurses and recruit newly qualified nurses, but we believe this is now a very realistic prospect given the investment in Bassetlaw and co-location enables us to make more efficient use of our dedicated staff.

“We remain committed to ensuring all our children are provided high quality, safe care in an appropriate environment where their needs can best be met. This investment means more patients will remain at Bassetlaw whilst, as has always been the case, children with more complex needs will continue to be transferred directly from ED to both Sheffield Children’s and Doncaster Royal Infirmary when clinically indicated.”

From now until the end of February 2022 we want to hear from patients, colleagues, partners and the public. For more information on how you can get involved and links to the online survey and the latest information about the consultation, please visit the CCG website here: www.bassetlawccg.nhs.uk. Individuals can also:

  • Send your comments in writing by email to nhsbassetlaw@thecampaigncompany.co.uk
  • Send your comments by post to FREEPOST RTEK-SATU-YXEC NHS Bassetlaw CCG, Retford Hospital, North Road, Retford, Notts. DN 22 7XF (no stamp required).