Four Issues in Tonight’s DriveTime
· 39 Beds in the City Hospital
· Care Closer to Home
· Hospital Reconfiguration
· Bowel Cancer
1. City Hospital Bed Closures – 39 beds in Sopwell and Langton Wards (part of Runcie Wing). Closed by Herts Community Trust (“HCT”). Cost pressures – need to find £2.9m savings. Closing these beds saves £3.8m but providing new facilities in Watford and Hemel costs £0.9m
Step Down Beds – for patients to recover before going home. Introduced a new FIRST service – Facilitating Integrated Re-enablement to Support Transition. Short term service to support 50 patients in West Herts. All part of a new “Discharge to Assess” service.
The core issue – cuts affect St Albans patients disproportionately. Go along to the meeting tonight at the Jubilee Centre, Catherine Street 6:00-7:30 pm
2. Care Closer to the Community
Doctors providing service for which we need to go to Hospital at the moment! Some services already rolled out (Respiratory, Heart, ECG); new services being rolled out this year (gynaecology, diabetes, wheelchair, stroke, pain management, dermatology), plus enhanced services for care homes. Massive change to how we will access services, but major concerns about effectiveness. Significant report from the Nuffield Trust which concludes
While out-of-hospital care may be better for patients, it is not likely to be cheaper for the NHS in the short to medium term – and certainly not within the tight timescales under which tNHS Trusts are expected to deliver change. The wider problem remains: more patient-centred, efficient and appropriate models of care require more investment than is likely to be possible given the current funding envelope.
Subject for next St Albans Patient Group meeting – March 29. Details at http://www.sapg.org.uk/home-page
3. Hospital Reconfiguration
Watford – emergency, critical and planned care; St Albans – planned care. Plans awaiting sign-off by the Commissioning Group. Critical issue is funding, and the impact of the Sustainability Plan involving North Herts and West Essex. Extra money in the budget last week but nowhere near enough!!!!!!
4. Bowel Cancer Month
All men and women aged 60 to 74 are invited to carry out a faecal occult blood (FOB) test. Every two years, they're sent a home test kit, which is used to collect a stool sample. If you're 75 or over, you can ask for this test by calling 0800 707 60 60.