We provide a selection of news stories from local papers across the UK, to illustrate current events concerning community hospitals.
CHA Letter in the Guardian
Proposals that could see the NHS renting rooms in private houses for patients recuperating after surgery are criticised by Dr Helen Tucker of the Community Hospitals Association and others, and the case is made for the vital importance of capacity for intermediate care in community hospitals. Read more...
Future of Rothbury Ward goes to the Secretary of State
Northumberland County Council’s health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee has voted to refer the proposed closure of Rothbury ward. Last month the joint executive board of the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) voted unanimously in favour of permanently closing the inpatient ward and shaping the existing services around a Health and Wellbeing Centre at the hospital. The closure is on hold and the final decision rests with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Katie Scott, from the Save Rothbury Community Hospital campaign group said at the meeting "Surely at all stages the scrutiny committee should have been consulted? It seems to us that you have been ignored," she said. "I believe today is the first opportunity in over 14 months for the committee to fully examine the proposal to take away our beds."
Shaftesbury hospital beds saved in Dorset health service shake-up
Campaigners are jubilant after winning the battle to save beds at Shaftesbury hospital as part of a Dorset-wide review of health services.
The governing body of Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group voted to maintain a community hub with beds at the town’s Westminster Memorial Hospital as part of a raft of proposals that will shape the future of health care provision in the county. But the hub is set to move from the hospital site as the CCG proposal also agreed it should stay until a new model for services is established. Julian Prichard, founder of the Shaftesbury campaign group Save our Beds! said after today's meeting in Dorchester that he was delighted with the decision. Read more
The Friends of Braintree Hospital says public must have say on proposed Braintree Community Hospital Ward changes
PROPOSED changes at Braintree Community Hospital should not take place before the public have had their say, a community group has said. The Friends of Braintree Community Hospital has promised to hold the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to account over the plans, the nature of which are currently not clear. Proposals are believed to be changes to the use of beds within the Courtauld Ward - a 24-bed facility providing rehabilitation and end-of-life care for elderly patients. Read more
MP tells NHS trust not to waste time on "bogus consultation" for Holsworthy Hospital
“Sadly I am not yet convinced that the NDHT or CCG are seriously engaging in what can be described as a plan to reopen the hospital.” said Mr Cox. “I will shortly be meeting the Minister for Hospitals, Phillip Dunne MP, to discuss with him the future of our community hospitals and local health services, and, in particular the reduction of bed capacity in the local NHS.” Read more
MP Layla Moran to bring community hospital cut concerns to health minister
THE FUTURE of Abingdon Community Hospital will be discussed at a meeting between Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran and Health Minister Steven Brine.
Ms Moran will be asking for a guarantee from the Government that patients will not face bed cuts or a reduction in services at the hospital as part of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group's controversial 'transformation plans'. A legal challenge to the changes was last week granted a full hearing. Ms Moran has already raised concerns about possible cuts to beds and services at the Abingdon hospital in the House of Commons and described the Marcham Road facility as a 'treasured asset'.
Potters Bar hospital fears as figures show five services cut in a year
Potters Bar Community Hospital is facing an uncertain future after it emerged that five of its services have been cut in just over a year – with more potentially at risk. Since August 2016, Royal Free has stopped its Potters Bar-based ENT (ear, nose and throat) services, dermatology, general surgery and orthopaedics. Urology was also scrapped in June 2015. Potters Bar’s MP Oliver Dowden said: “Like many constituents I was concerned to learn about these changes to services at Potters Bar Community Hospital. “I have been in direct contact with the Royal Free to share these concerns and will soon be meeting personally with their chief executive, Sir David Sloman. “It is my understanding that the future of the hospital is fully secure, but I am seeking an urgent clarification from them and the local NHS clinical commissioning group, Herts Valley, about the reasons behind these decisions and the hospital.” Read more
Patients are being 'abandoned' despite plans to review minor injury unit closures
Withernsea Community Hospital in-patient unit was shut as a temporary measure last month. A month after its "temporary" closure Withernsea Community Hospital shows no sign of reopening to patients. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for a review of controversial plans to permanently close the hospital's minor injury unit and another in Hornsea, but neither City Healthcare Partnership nor East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have said when the hospital may reopen. Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has said while he welcomes the review, it does not "allay concerns" for Withernsea Community Hospital's immediate future.
Two hospitals set to close to make way for new £11million facility
Katie Norton, chief executive of Gloucestershire Care Services which runs the county's community hospitals, said she is "excited" by the opportunity to develop new facilities in the area. We hope these new facilities will enable us to provide a wider range of services. Sometimes we're not able to provide that consistency across the two sites. Currently there are 47 beds between Lydney and the Dilke hospitals, while the minimum number of beds the new hospital would have is 24. Bed occupancy at both hospitals is often at 95 per cent, but the NHS says only half of patients at both hospitals are from the Forest of Dean. Health bosses believe 24 beds would be a "robust number to support the locality." The new publicly-funded hospital could provide an endoscopy suite, but will not include a birthing unit or operating centre.
Wait for better healthcare in Maldon district continues
Since 2003 plans have been considered for replacing the “ageing” St Peter’s Hospital with a new community hospital for Maldon. Proposals have now been unveiled for “Maldon Health Hub.” The CCG said that it should no longer be referred to as a hospital as there was no guarantee the new facility would include beds.
News stories that have been posted on the CHARM website are available to download in a pdf document