Health Scrutiny hears there will be no precipitate decisions on community hospitals – local conversations with CCG and RD&E offer chance to shape ‘place-based health systems’ around towns

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In my third and final report from yesterday’s Health Scrutiny, I come to the report on the future of the hospitals by NEW Devon CCG and NHS Property Services, in response to the Committee’s request for clarification. (This arose from my presentations at the September and November meetings). While NHS PS stressed that in principle they will eventually have to charge market rents, Claire Wright elicited the useful information that currently NHS England are still paying for the buildings, and the company said they are ‘always happy to work with local communities to consider local services’. Scrutiny’s resolution requested that NHS PS ‘uphold this undertaking’ and keeps the Committee informed on the timeline for changes in the status of the hospitals.

The CCG’s Sonja Manton confirmed that the community conversations the CCG and RD&E are now promoting to develop ‘place-based systems‘ around ‘market towns’ – which have already begun in Honiton and Okehampton – can certainly include the services people want to have delivered locally in the hospitals. While there are cost constraints and not everything which people want will necessarily be delivered, local communities can certainly discuss these services with the NHS organisations, as well as how voluntary organisations can help the NHS and adult social care. Okehampton’s Conservative county councillor, Kevin Ball (below front left, with Non-Aligned Group leader Frank Biederman behind), stressed the progress his community had made in the recent meeting in the town. He and Okehampton’s mayor, Jan Goffey, mentioned that FORCE Chemotherapy will soon be opening a service in the hospital.

Health Scrutiny Jan 2018 with Kevin Ball

In my speech (1:34:20) I welcomed the new ‘place-based’ focus and stressed the importance for towns like Seaton – which is 45 minutes to an hour from acute hospitals – of using the free space in the community hospital to deliver routine treatments and operations for which people currently have to go to Exeter. I pointed out that constituents complain to me all the time about the stress, strain and cost of repeated travelling, often when unwell, without parking, park-and-ride space or bus services – while Exeter complains of congestion!

I mentioned the request of the RD&E’s Em Wilkinson-Bryce, in Honiton last week, for the community to trust the NHS organisations, and said that a serious conversation about local services – in which the NHS takes on board what people want – would be the best way to create this. We wanted to keep the beds, but now they are gone proper ‘place-based’ strategies for each of our towns offer the prospect of working together with the NHS. Preparations are underway for a meeting similar to ‘Honiton’s Health Matters’ in Seaton in March, and I will give more information as soon as the date is fixed.

CCG, RD&E speakers at Honiton community event to begin ‘co-designing and co-producing’ local health services/activities – we need a similar meeting in Seaton too

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Honiton’s Health Matters – Going Forward Together
Thursday 18th January 2018, Beehive Main Hall,   9.30 for 10am start – 1.30pm
Context:  This event is the start of a community conversation with key stakeholder organisations around the future health and wellbeing of residents in response to  the new landscape affecting Honiton and its environs as a result of NHS and Government policies advocating placed-based health provision and cross-sector collaborative working.
The aim:  To discuss what we know, where there are gaps/challenges and how, as a community we will address these to ensure collaborative approaches to co-design and co-produce local health services/activities that meet the needs of all the people in our communities.
Invitees: Management and senior level employees / volunteers / trustees across the public, private, community, voluntary and social enterprise sector.
Ø Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice – Deputy Chief Executive / Chief Nurse RD&E
Ø Dr Simon Kerr – Chair, Eastern Locality New Devon CCG
Ø Julia Cutforth – Community Services Manager,  Honiton and Ottery St Mary
Ø Ways2Wellbeing  – Social Prescribing, Speaker to be confirmed
Ø Charlotte Hanson – Chief Officer, Action East Devon
Ø Heather Penwarden – Chair, Honiton Hospital League of Friends