We have been made aware that not all GPs share the same understanding about the implications for community services in NEW Devon’s draft community services strategy.

Therefore I am writing to you, as a GP employed by the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust in our community hospitals, to ensure that you are aware of the proposed changes and how to respond to the CCG before 8 July 2014 with your feedback.

I attach an email we received from the CCG with all of the associated documents and methods of feedback.

Whilst there is no detail about how services in each locality may change, commissioning greater integration of health and social care is an aspiration that the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust shares with the CCG.

However, if I could direct your attention to page 42 of the full strategy document, there are some specific proposals about which you may have a view.

1. The strategy makes an explicit proposal to transfer eastern community services – health and social care teams and community inpatient – to RD&E in 2015. We can confirm that this means the ownership of the hospitals would transfer to NHS Property Services, (‘PropCo’).

2. The strategy also announces a review of urgent care to create fewer but larger urgent care centres across Devon, and that these would be put out to tender. There is no definition of community urgent care in the document but we assume it means MIUs as opposed to the rapid response services of our community health and social care teams.

3. The strategy does not state a vision for specialist community services (podiatry, sexual health etc) but confirms there will be further review to reach a commissioning strategy for these small, valuable and highly dispersed clinical services.

I am keen to hear your views and would encourage you to respond to this strategy. In the current context of Devon as a challenged health economy it is particularly important that we all participate in this engagement to ensure sustainable, high quality and effective services for patients.

You may also find it useful to approach your local community matron or health and social care manager to gain their perspective. We have arranged meetings with as many of our staff as possible before July to ensure that our corporate response reflects the views of our staff.

TCS Newsletter – Issue 4 (June 2014) (pdf)

Last updated: June 23, 2014