Sunday, 13 July 2014

Healthcare in Devon: consultation 'dangerous' and 'wishy washy'

The consultation on the future of healthcare services concluded this week:
Futures Forum: Healthcare in Devon: proposed framework for services now open to consultation

The County Council has had its input:

Community hospital costs queried

Harvey Gavin Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Concerns over a lack of cost information to accompany proposals for major changes to community hospitals have been raised by a Devon County Council (DCC) watchdog.

At a meeting of DDC’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee last week, councillors quizzed healthcare chiefs on a proposed ‘remodelling’ of community services which could see beds at Ottery’s hospital close to inpatients.

Cost-saving measures being considered by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would see the ‘economically inefficient’ setup of beds at both Ottery and Honiton scrapped in favour of centralising them at one facility.

However, a ‘strategy document’ presented to the scrutiny committee on Monday (June 16) included no specifics on how much the proposals would save or exactly how individual hospitals will be affected.

Councillor Claire Wright, county representative for Ottery, asked whether the CCG had compared the cost of the existing setup to the proposed model. “Obviously there is a significant financial difficulty, along with a lot of other NHS organisations at the moment,” she said. “My concern is this strategy document will be going before NHS England later this month without costings in or firm proposals.”

Rebecca Harriott, chief officer of the CCG, said that details on the costs, as well as specifics for individual hospitals, would be available towards the end of July. She added: “As we sit here now, we haven’t got a paper that says how much it costs to do a set of models that we haven’t yet agreed will be our proposed way forward.”

But Councillor Brian Greenslade, DCC representative for North Devon, said: “I just don’t buy that. The aspirations set out - are they affordable or are they not? Unless you know the answer to that, why are you putting it forward? There must be at least a statement about the affordability of it, even if it’s not reams of figures.”

A consultation on the proposals is set to run until July 8.

Community hospital costs queried - News - Sidmouth Herald

With further reports:
No costs attached to strategy on major shake-up of Devon’s community hospitals - Claire Wright

And on Monday, the Town Council had its say:

NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group: Integrated, personal and sustainable:

Community Services for the 21st Century – A Strategic Framework

Enclosed with the agenda is a copy of a consultation document issued by the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group. At this stage members of the public are asked to comment on a strategic framework. The approach to local implementation will be through co-production and further engagement and consultation. This means there will be opportunities to influence community services as more specific details become available. Members are asked to consider responses to the general questions raised on page 18. 

Comments can also be made by completing an online form on https://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/involve/community-services/101039
Members’ response is required before 8 July on this consultation

www.sidmouth.gov.uk/PDFs/stcagendas2014/Agenda STC-070714.pdf

A report on the front page of the Herald showed that Members are not happy about the proposals:

Battle to save hospital beds

Report by Stephen Sumner - Friday 11 July 2014

Healthcare reforms that could see Sidmouth Victoria Hospital lose some of its inpatient beds have been objected to in the strongest possible terms by civic leaders.

The town council was given just one day to respond to an NHS consultation - but they dismissed it as 'dangerous' and 'wishy washy' for having no firm proposals.

Members fear there are insufficient numbers of nurses to care for patients in their homes and warned a cut in community beds will place a greater burden on emergency departments.


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