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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Think big to tackle our waiting lists

Our hospitals need to “think big” if we are to tackle our growing waiting lists. We had to cancel many outpatient appointments over the last year because our focus was on Covid-19 and providing emergency care so a lot of our elective activity was stopped. Our waiting list is now around 45,000 patients and we know how long some have been waiting and we know how hard this can be. We are determined to do everything we can to help work through our waiting list as quickly as possible.

Staff from UHD joined our partners and healthcare colleagues from across Dorset at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) last week to plan how we can treat more patients than we currently are able to. Our priorities are how to create a safe environment for our clinical staff to provide face-to-face care for these patients, while also providing privacy and dignity in a Covid-secure way. We also need to ensure any plans provide support for our own staff wellbeing.

The discussions also focused on where we could provide this care. We considered different locations both within our hospitals and also within the community, including proposals of a “health pop-up village”. The BIC was the perfect location for our meeting as it is where Dorset’s large vaccination centre is based and we were able to learn a lot from the way Dorset HealthCare planned to see large numbers of people here in a safe way.

All the options discussed are now being developed to work out the best plan for all our patients and for our staff, with feedback from our partners, including Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Dorset HealthCare and Dorset County Hospital. We were also very grateful for the support provided by Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) in setting up the day.

This think big initiative follows on from our work to contact all the outpatients on our waiting lists to help us validate our lists to give a more accurate view of our clinical priorities.

Mark Mould, chief operating officer

You can watch a short film about think big here.


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