Hospitals in Bath, Swindon and Salisbury have been working more closely than ever before as part of the BSW Partnership Acute Hospitals Alliance (AHA) to improve and ensure equal access to their services and where possible make savings that can be reinvested into local health and care services..
Established in 2018, the AHA is made up the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
Since that time, the three hospitals have been working in an increasingly collaborative way.
As a result, the hospitals have been able to make some significant joint progress in areas including bringing back-office functions such as procurement together to deliver economies of scale and closer working within clinical teams for the benefit of patients.
In terms of clinical work, the joint approach has seen the development of BSW Virtual Clinical Team to break down organisational barriers between hospitals and work together on common patient pathways.
Hospitals also worked together during bank holidays to tackle paediatric waiting lists and tackled a significant number of operations.
The work of the Alliance and closer collaboration between hospitals in BSW is in-line with national policy and strategic direction in areas including government guidance for the development of integrated care systems and the recent Health and Care Bill.
Cara Charles-Barks, Chief Executive of the RUH and Executive Sponsor of the AHA said the alliance had been able to add real value to the wider health and care system in BSW.
“In the uncertain times we have lived through recently and will continue to experience, the AHA offers stability along with a collective expertise to make a real difference to the system within which we operate and the lives of those we serve.
“Our increasingly collaborative approach, founded on strong relationships, is enabling us to respond confidently and quickly to the developing national Integrated Care landscape and, in particular, the clear expectations in legislation.”