5 October 2016
The NHS in Devon notes the outcome of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel’s initial assessment of the changes to the delivery of patient care in Torrington, which states, as expected, that the referral is not suitable for full review.
The referral to the panel was made by Devon County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee (HWSC), following the test of change in Torrington in 2013 (Torrington Community Cares), which saw the enhanced model of community care delivered in people’s homes replacing the Torrington Hospital inpatient service.
The IRP notes that the NHS has a duty to consider how it can best provide care for people and that the test of change was initiated for precisely those reasons.
It also notes that Torrington Community Hospital and related services have been the subject of numerous considerations, reviews, reports and evaluations, and that while early engagement with the local community did not get off to the best start, the NHS has taken steps to address this; including in commissioning an independent report.
In particular it notes, ‘the fact that referral was not made on the grounds of flawed consultation with the HWSC reflects the efforts that the NHS made to involve the Committee and keep it informed of progress.’
Torrington Community Hospital now operates as a health and wellbeing hub offering outpatient services including midwifery, audiology, ultrasound, blood transfusions and enhanced physiotherapy, as well as enabling the NHS to offer space to local voluntary organisations.
Development of the hub continues to be considered through a Health and Wellbeing Steering Group established in June 2015 and chaired by Great Torrington Town Council, drawing membership from councils, the NHS, social care and the voluntary sector.
We note the panel’s conclusion that: ‘The model of care described in the documentation appears to reflect the national direction of travel towards integrated health and social care.’
The Transforming Community Services model of care in Torrington is at the heart of the Your Future Care consultation due to commence on 7 October.