Date: 7 October 2016
TODAY (October 7) sees the start of wide-ranging consultation and engagement with the public cover proposals to improve the way elderly and frail people are cared for in the Eastern locality.*
Your Future Care proposes changes which will, if adopted, provide care and support in people’s homes and in the community, preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and supporting a faster return home.
The consultation is organised by NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS NEW Devon CCG).
It is about deciding the location of community hospital inpatient beds in the Eastern locality while giving people reassurance as to the improved care they can expect instead, in their own homes.
The consultation document has now been published and is available on the CCG’s website.
The document will also be increasingly available in public libraries, GP surgeries, hospitals and leisure centres as well as other key public and buildings.
A full range of public events in which the public can have their say on the proposals will be published next week.
There are sound clinical reasons for adopting the model. Every day, up to 600 people are in hospitals (100 of these in community hospitals) who no longer have a medical need to be there.
Doctors say that a length of stay in hospital of more than 10 days can cause people’s health to deteriorate, particularly in relation to muscle strength. Loss of mobility leads to increased falls, loss of confidence and independence - and advancing frailty.
The model responds to the views of patients and clinical staff about what they wish to see provided in future and more than 80 clinicians have worked on it.
GP Dr David Jenner, chairman of the Eastern locality for the Clinical Commissioning Group, said the care provided by NHS staff in our area was among the best in the country but there were also challenges.
“One of the biggest challenges for us is when out-dated models and a lack of coordination between services means we are not able to provide better care,” he said.
“Bed-based care will always be available for people who need to be in a hospital but we need to make sure the alternative of home-based care is always considered.
“Too many people are currently in hospitals that don’t need to be there and they could be receiving a better service at home.”
The proposed model builds on previous discussion during 2014/15 over the Transforming Community Services programme in which people said they wanted joined up care, which supported and promoted independence, as locally as possible.
Angela Pedder, lead chief executive for Your Future Care, said difficult decisions lay ahead.
“At times when people are at their most vulnerable and most in need of support, our current system requires them to navigate their way through the multiple boundaries that exist between services.
“Our GPs and other clinical staff also described similar difficulties. This results in delays, multiple assessments, and frequently the only care intervention available is an emergency referral to a hospital due to the lack of a more appropriate, easily accessible alternative service.
“We recognise the changes we are proposing will prompt difficult debate but we firmly believe the options in the consultation represent a real opportunity for us to improve care.”
The NHS in Northern, Eastern and Western Devon has to achieve clinical and financial stability by 2021. These proposals are key to ensuring the improvement of care and financial health.
Full details about the consultation are available on the CCG’s website.
*The Eastern locality includes Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon and parts of West Devon including Okehampton.
For more information contact Sarah Hyde, Media and Communications Officer, on 01392 267 647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org