The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is encouraging local people to attend a public meeting and have a say on where community hospital beds should be located in Northern Devon.
The Trust has been engaging with staff and stakeholders since June, to include discussions about its vision and ideas for improving services.
A stakeholder review group – featuring League of Friends members, councillors and other local representatives – will meet twice in early August to analyse the decision-making criteria for the future location of community beds and develop a series of options based on these.
The Trust is following the direction set by the Care Closer to Home consultation carried out by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the results of which were announced in May 2015.
The Trust is urging local people to have an input on the agreed options during a six-week public consultation, which runs from Wednesday 12 August to Wednesday 23 September.
There will be a series of public meetings where people can drop in, see a presentation and join a round table discussion about the options available and how they were reached.
People will be asked for their preferred option and whether any alternatives should have been considered.
There will be three identical sessions on each date, starting at 3.30pm, 5pm and 6.30pm:
- Tuesday 18 August – Ilfracombe (The Landmark Theatre, Seafront, Ilfracombe, EX34 9BZ)
- Thursday 20 August – Holsworthy (Holsworthy Memorial Hall, North Road, Holsworthy, EX22 6DJ)
- Tuesday 25 August – South Molton (New Assembly Room, South Molton Town Hall, East Street, South Molton, EX36 3BU)
- Thursday 27 August – Bideford (Stucley Hall, Bideford College, Bideford, EX39 3AR)
Further meetings will be added and there are a number of other ways for people to get involved:
- Complete the online feedback form on the Trust website at northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/consultnorth.
- Download the consultation document on the Trust website at northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/consultnorth and e-mail the enclosed feedback form to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to Communications Team, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Raleigh Park, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4JB. The document will be uploaded on Wednesday 12 August.
- Write to Dr Alison Diamond, Chief Executive, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Raleigh Park, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4JB.
- E-mail us at email@example.com.
- Call us on 01271 322460.
- Invite us to a meeting, if you’re part of a group or organisation and can’t attend any of the public events. For more information, call Nellie Guttmann on 01271 313971 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are currently community beds at Bideford, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe and South Molton hospitals, although those at Ilfracombe are temporarily closed.
As the total number of beds will be reduced by around half, it is likely that inpatient services will be delivered from two units in the future.
Dr Alison Diamond, Trust chief executive, said: “This is a very important consultation and we are keen to encourage as many people as possible to get involved to help us make the best decision for the local community.
“We are holding a number of public meetings which will offer a great opportunity to have your say on the options agreed by the stakeholder review group.
“If you’re not able to attend a meeting, please give us your feedback via the form on our website or e-mail or write to us.
“We will listen to every single view expressed and these will be used to inform the final decision.”
Following the public consultation, recommendations will be put to the Trust board.
The board’s preferred option will be proposed to the Northern locality of the CCG before the plans are implemented.
- The Trust’s consultation follows on from the substantial consultation by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on its vision for community services in Northern Devon, called Care Closer to Home. The CCG’s Northern locality board agreed in May that the total number of community hospital beds across Northern Devon would be reduced as part of its aim to care for more patients at home. Funds released from the closure of beds will be reinvested in community-based services.
- Health and wellbeing hubs will be developed at the sites where inpatient services are no longer provided. The hubs will provide a range of outpatient clinics and other services, enabling local people to receive treatment and support closer to home and avoid a trip to North Devon District Hospital or elsewhere. Local communities will be closely involved in the development of the hubs.