Following the announcement of the pilot in Torrington to trial a new model of health and social care services, a Task Group has been set up to monitor the effectiveness of the “Transforming Torrington Together” pilot.
The Task Group comprises local County, District and Town Councillors, the Torrington League of Friends, senior clinicians and managers from the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The role of the Task Group is to ensure that the local community was represented in the discussions prior to the launch of the pilot, was able to evaluate the pilot and ultimately understand how they would support the final assessment of whether the project was a failure or a success.
The pilot is due to start by 1 September 2013 (please see the website for more information on the Test of Change pilot).
The first meeting of the Task Group was held at TorringtonCommunityHospital on Tuesday 16 July 2013.
At this meeting, the Group established the background to the project and considered what information was needed to evaluate its success.
There was a thorough question and answer session where attendees asked questions of managers and front-line clinicians about how the pilot would work and the benefits to the local community.
Andy Boyd, District and County Councillor said, “There were several positive statements given in respect of providing better healthcare closer to home, as well as a number of concerns highlighted about the provision of such services across a large rural area.
“We also discussed the possible impact on patients and relatives due to the loss of beds at the Community Hospital.”
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group reaffirm their commitment to the local community that if the test is not a success the suspension of beds at the hospital would end.
The agenda and notes of the meeting can be found on the Transforming Torrington Together website at www.northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/ttt.
Dr Chris Bowman, Vice Chair of the Northern Locality of the NEW Devon CCG, said: “As a local GP and a commissioner of services, I believe this is an exciting test of change for Torrington to show the rest of Devon how new services can be provided which enhance the health and well-being of local communities.
“The successful first meeting of the Task Group shows it will provide a useful forum to hear the concerns and questions from the local community and we will do our best to ensure all views are captured through the pilot.”
Harold Martin, Mayor of Torrington, said: “I am pleased the Task Group has been set up as the community needs the opportunity to challenge our healthcare clinicians and managers about their plans.
“I look forward to receiving the evidence that people supported in their own home is something that people want, and I will be looking to the organisations to transparently publish all the data they have.”
“I would encourage all those with opinions, either of the pilot itself or about their experience of receiving a health and social care service, to give us that feedback – either by writing to the town council or posting a comment via the town council website.”
The public can also log their comments on www.patientopinion.com.
Karen Moss, Community Matron, “I realise the thought of this pilot might cause worry or anxiety but I would like to reassure everyone that our community teams are highly competent and highly skilled.
“We have absolute confidence that we can support people in their own homes by working in a team with other professionals, and avoid hospital admissions where possible.”
The next meeting of the Task Group will be on Tuesday 30 July 2013. Thereafter it will meet every month for the duration of the pilot.
- The Trust has more than 300 inpatient beds at North Devon District Hospital and a combined total of about 300 at its 17 community hospitals. But its community staff care for a growing number of patients – currently more than 5,000 – in their own homes.
- The Torrington and Holsworthy community rehabilitation team has been boosted by the recruitment of additional physiotherapists, occupational therapists and rehabilitation support workers. The investment has enabled staff to support patients with greater complexities in the community. The team looks after about 80 people in their own homes and typically makes 35 face-to-face contacts with these patients each week.
- The community nursing team cares for about 100 people in their own homes and makes about 180 face-to-face contacts with these patients each week, an increase from around 150 before April.
- All briefing documents and media materials can be found at www.northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/ttt