The NHS has given details of how it intends to implement its ‘Your Future Care’ plans to improve patient care across Eastern Devon, including creating new nursing, therapist and support roles.
“Your Future Care” set out proposals to move away from the existing bed-based model of care.
Instead, it proposed a model of care focused on proactively averting health crises and promoting independence and wellbeing.
The plans were subject to a 13-week public consultation that closed earlier this year, following which the NHS NEW Devon CCG approved a way forward which enhanced community services to support more home-based care by redirecting and reinvesting some existing bed-based resources.
The net result would mean an increase of more than 50 community-based staff to support out of hospital care and a reduction in community inpatient beds across the Eastern locality of Devon.
Detailed operational work began in this area with the introduction of the Community Connect out-of-hospital service in March, which has already led to a reduction in demand for community inpatient beds.
In order to achieve this transition safely, implementation will take a phased approach to redeploy and recruit staff to the additional nursing, therapy, care workers and pharmacist roles, which will enhance community services in Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon.
This will enable the reduction in inpatient beds – moving from seven community inpatient units to three.
The timetable for implementation is:
|Seaton Community Hospital||W/C 21 August 2017|
|Okehampton Community Hospital||W/C 21 August 2017|
|Honiton Community Hospital||W/C 28 August 2017|
|Exeter Community Hospital||W/C 4 September 2017|
The provision of inpatient services at these locations will cease from these dates. All other services at these hospitals will continue as normal.
Patients in these areas in medical need of a community inpatient bed will be accommodated at either Tiverton, Sidmouth or Exmouth hospitals, depending on where they live.
Due to the increasing pressures on safely staffing the current configuration of seven community inpatient units, the schedule for the closure of the in-patient units needed to be brought forward.
Furthermore, now that the workforce HR consultation has been completed, 170 staff can be redeployed into the enhanced community teams and our hospitals to provide extra capacity and resilience to meet the demand for care for the people of Eastern Devon.
Adel Jones, Integration Director at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is acknowledged that getting to this point in the process has not been without its challenges and I would like to thank all who have contributed to the development of the implementation plans.”
Dr Anthony Hemsley, Associate Medical Director at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital said: “Although the decision to reduce inpatient beds will only affect a small number of patients per week, we, with the support of the clinical assurance panel, are confident that our plans to provide more care at home are safe and ultimately will help more people to be independent.
“At the point of implementation, we will be able to redirect some of the existing bed-based resources into local community teams. Additional staff including community nurses, therapists, and personal support workers will be there to provide greater provision and access to care and support.
However, we know that there is still much more work to be done – particularly around prevention, wellbeing, recruitment of staff and availability of domiciliary care. This can only be done in partnership with communities and we at the RD&E look forward to continuing this work.”
Rob Sainsbury, chief operating officer for NEW Devon CCG, said: “Reallocating resources away from hospital bed-based care into more home-based and community care will really make a positive difference to people’s lives.
“It will ensure that everyone who needs the service in our community has the best access to good quality and sustainable health services and help people to stay independent for longer, with the benefit of being cared for closer to family and friends.
“I’d like to thank the GPs, consultants, lay people and others for their work on our assurance panel.”