WE are writing to urge support to unlock £147 million investment into our local NHS.

Firstly, our mission is to support people in Dorset to lead healthier lives. We are strongly supportive of the current planning applications that have been submitted to invest £147 million in the transformational investment in Royal Bournemouth and Poole hospitals.

Secondly, these planning applications to invest in state of the art new facilities at our local hospitals are a key part of the planned transformation - Clinical Services Review (CSR) - of our healthcare system for the benefit of patients in Dorset.

Working with others, our vision for Dorset is to transform our hospitals, community services and primary care to enable us to meet the needs of local people and deliver better outcomes for patients. This was the driving force behind the CSR, with its vision to work together to improve healthcare in Dorset. The CSR was informed by extensive staff and public engagement.

The CSR proposals were formed by doctors and health professionals who serve the population of Dorset and surrounding areas. They are supported by all the partner NHS organisations across Dorset. They are in line with the NHS Five Year Forward Plan, and with the NHS Long Term Plan.

The benefits include: £147 million investment in acute hospital services; 24/7 consultant delivered emergency care providing better care for over 35,000 patients per year who currently visit A&E when there is no on-site consultant; considerable reduction in transfers between hospital sites providing better care for over 3,500 patients per year; better use of scarce specialist clinical resources; better quality services and improved outcomes, particularly for stroke and cardiac services; reduction in clinical variation between sites and adopting the ‘best of both hospitals’ in future service design, thereby increasing patient safety; fewer cancellations of elective surgery due to emergency admissions thereby reducing waiting times for over 6,000 patients per year; shorter waits for cardiac treatment for around 750 patients per year; a reduced length of stay for 400 people needing interventional cardiac treatment, saving between 11 to 21 lives per year.

Thirdly, the proposed transformational development for both hospitals are the result of feedback from doctors, nurses, and other NHS staff.

The proposals include: Royal Bournemouth Hospital – 1. Creation of a new maternity and children’s department; 2. Expanded Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit.

Poole Hospital – 1. New state of the art theatres; 2. New Urgent Treatment Centre – open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, treating between 50,000 – 80,000 patients every year, with staff able to treat nearly 800 illnesses/injuries.

Above all, these applications provide our community with the opportunity to secure £147 million of investment from the Treasury to transform our acute hospital services for the benefit of where we live. We risk losing this funding if they are not approved.

To conclude, we strongly urge support for these applications for the benefit of the people of Dorset.

Dr Forbes Watson, Chair, NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group; Professor Alastair Hutchison, Medical Director, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Karen Kirkham, Integrated Care System Clinical Lead & Assistant Clinical Chair, NHS Dorset CCG; Dr Alyson O’Donnell, Medical Director, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Stephen Tomkins, Medical Director, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Angus Wood, Medical Director, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Dorset CCG, Barrack Road, Dorchester