Fit for the Future – Ashby community health consultation
Our CCG and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) have reached a decision on how to best meet the long-term health needs of people living in and around Ashby de la Zouch.
During the public meetings held near the end of May in Ashby, both boards agreed to move services out of Ashby and District Hospital to other local places, to increase the range of community health services and provide more care in people’s homes. That ultimately will mean Ashby and District Hospital will close to inpatients, so clinics and outpatient services will be moved to other local places.
Our public consultation received almost 400 responses, and our CCG was delighted with the quality of the discussions we had with people who took part. People drew on their own experiences of community health care, whether at home, in Ashby hospital or hospitals in the surrounding area, which helped the boards make a really informed decision.
- The decision was given the go-ahead with some strict conditions attached, which were developed to provide assurances to the public and stakeholders who expressed concern about the ability of the NHS to deliver services elsewhere other than the hospital.
- As part of these conditions our CCG board made it clear that, for the move of services out of Ashby hospital, they wanted to see more details, such as precise plans with clear stages, timings and evidence of successful new service delivery. The conditions include:
- When reducing inpatient beds at Ashby hospital, the CCG will invest in additional community based services in North West Leicestershire. Part of the solutions will mean arranging for a service to support earlier discharge home for North West Leicestershire patients who are admitted to a major hospital.
- There will also be a care home support service to ensure people, who are cared for in a nursing or residential home, are case-managed and supported to remain in their home as an alternative to going into a major hospital, when it is safe and appropriate.
- We will invest in domiciliary therapy services to ensure that people have more timely access to home based physiotherapy services. In addition, we will increase health funding to support preventative services in social care through the Better Care Fund.
- Outpatient services, such as clinics, will continue to be provided from Ashby hospital until suitable alternative accommodation can be found in Ashby. This is not only to ensure that future outpatient services are available in Ashby, but also to allow the possibility of expanding such services. The optional locations will be appraised, and the travelling distance for patients to the different sites will be considered.
- A new base will also be found for the community health staff teams who work out of Ashby hospital. Closure will not take place until outpatient services and community health staff teams have moved to suitable alternative local accommodation.
As the consultation document explained, our CCG and LPT have already been developing other forms of care outside hospital. Together we have set up a new “virtual ward” – a service that co-ordinates care and aims to stop people having to go into hospital, when avoidable.
LPT has also developed home-based “intensive community support” services that aim to look after people at home following discharge from hospital at an earlier stage. Both these new services provide a range of hospital-style support to patients in their own home or in a care home.
Rachel Bilsborough, Divisional Director of Community Health Services at LPT, said: “Work will begin immediately on developing plans for more modern, co-ordinated health services that will allow a growing number of patients to be treated in their own homes, or to leave hospital earlier. A new night assessment service is already being set up to help avoid unnecessary emergency hospital admissions.
“Both ourselves and the CCG would like to reassure people that closure will not take place until the 16 in-patient beds have been phased out and outpatient services and teams have moved to suitable alternative local accommodation.
Dr Nick Willmott, GP and our CCG’s clinical lead during the consultation said: “It is vital that we always involve patients and the public in the development of local health services, and on behalf of the CCG and LPT I would like to thank the people of Ashby for their invaluable input during the consultation. We will continue to inform and engage with the local community as we start work on the next stage of this process.”
To view the documents supporting this consultation select from the list below: