Health hubs plan for High Peak

Dr Debbie Austin, High Peak GP and member of the Governing Body of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Photo contributed.
Dr Debbie Austin, High Peak GP and member of the Governing Body of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Photo contributed.

Innovative plans to provide a more joined up healthcare service for the High Peak are taking shape.

The scheme, known as 21st Century Healthcare, involves a range of organisations who commission and provide health services for the borough.

The aim is to bring those organisations together to provide a more joined up health service for local patients.

There will be greater integration between providers so that patients benefit from a better service.

Dr Debbie Austin, a High Peak GP and member of North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body, explained: “Obviously we use public money which isn’t something that we can be throwing around willy-nilly.

“This is about providing totally joined up care. It’s not just one service, we’ve got a lot of partners involved and we’re ready to change everything.

“This is happening across the country, it’s a national drive to bring people together.

“What we are looking at is creating community hubs or community networks.

“At the moment were looking at two for the High Peak, one in Buxton and one in the central area to cover Whaley Bridge, Chapel-en-le-Frith, New Mills and the surrounding areas.

“There has been a lot of work going on already, we’ve had public meetings and they’ve been quite well attended.

“This is a five-year plan.”

One of the aims of the scheme is to provide better care for people at the best place for patients, and that isn’t always in a hospital.

Debbie said: “For example, for someone with ongoing care needs, it’s very important that people work together to understand their needs.

“The way health services have worked so far hasn’t always focused on the outcome that the patient wants.

“Hospitals aren’t always the best place for people, a lot of people want to stay at home.

“Obviously if people still need to go to hospital that is where they’ll go.

“For those who do need to go to hospital, we want to be able to get them out into a safe environment within their own home as quickly as possible.

“That will involve closer working with the community teams so we will be able to care for sick people at home.”

Organisations involved in the scheme include North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Derbyshire Community Healthcare Service NHS Trust, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Derbyshire County Council.

A series of options are currently being drawn up for the future operation of those services involved.