The Moretonhampstead community is situated within the boundary of Dartmoor National Park with a population of 4,000 residents. The Trust provides a range of services to support the local population, including:
- Inpatient service at Moretonhampstead Community Hospital
- Outpatient services – consultant, GP and allied health professional clinics
- Community Teams – including nursing, therapy and rehabilitation services
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has an emerging strategy of care closer to home in relation to community services, based on the involvement of patients, public and other important stakeholders. The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (Trust) is also pursuing a strategy of equity of access and supporting people to live independently in their own homes.
Over many years we have developed our understanding of the rural impact on health – through discussions with our communities and by using the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (carried out with partners such as Devon County Council), together with the excellent public health data to which we have access. Specific pieces of work exploring the challenges faced by our rural communities have also been useful.
Home-based care has always been an important way of addressing healthcare need given the dispersed geography of Devon and people’s wishes for accessible, local services. At the same time people have told us that they could avoid long and sometimes repeated visits to hospital if there were clinics and other services nearer the community.
The CCG and Trust place a large amount of store on the views of local people living in local communities. As well as wider discussions about the future configuration of services, we are encouraging debate about the value and role of the various buildings used to deliver services to ensure both are clinically and financially sustainable in the long term.
Both organisations are absolutely committed to involving communities in this discussion.