The health service is in ‘crisis’ and new reforms which could see Spencer Ward at the Cavendish Hospital are being met with concern.
Speaking at the recent Derbyshire County Council cabinet meeting members discussed the Better Care Closer to Home proposal
Leader of the council and cabinet Anne Western said: “This council will agree with care at home in principle as no one wants to spend long periods of time in hospital.
“However, there is a lot of public unease and people need to see how it can work before beds are closed.”
The proposals could see Cavendish Hospital lose its ten specialist mental health beds on the Spencer Ward as care would be provided in the community between 8am to 8pm and emergency admissions would be made at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield. She went on to say that travel times to Walton hospital are not going to be possible for everyone especially if people are dependent on public transport.
Cllr Western said: “We would recommend looking at other community sites and trying to maintain the sites and services there.”
There are currently 100 hospital-based community beds, as well as 25 beds at community located at care homes, that support approximately 2,000 people per year. In the current ‘do-nothing’ scenario, where the current model of care was delivered until 2019/20, health services would need to increase community beds to 151 places at an estimated total cost of £16.3m or £108,125 per bed or £6,900 per patient.
The new proposal could see eight community beds on Fenton Ward would become specialist rehabilitation beds and across the county there would be 44 Beds With Care in nursing or residential home to replace the other eight.
Cllr Western added: “The best spend of public money is to not keep feeding the beast that is A&E but to put money in preventative care in the community.” Dave Allen cabinet member for health and communities described the situation as crisis as he spoke about more people being admitted to acute wards.
He said: “It is ironic that is being called Better Care Closer to Home when people could end up travelling further to visit a loved one.”
By 2037, 31 per cent of North Derbyshire CCG’s population will be aged 65 years and over. CCGs are concerned these health trends will place greater demand pressures on health provision and therefore the NHS needs to make changes to current services to be able to cope.
There are currently 50 older people’s mental health beds across three sites at Walton, Newholme and Cavendish. In the current ‘do-nothing’ scenario health services would need to increase these by a further ten beds to support approximately 300 patients.