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Thame hospital's overnight beds switched for new services

Thame hospital's overnight beds switched for new services

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 5:44am 8th March 2017.

Overnight beds are to be removed at Thame and Marlow community hospitals to make room for new community hub services.

It'll start from April on a  6 month pilot, and will mean 12 overnight beds removed from Marlow community hospital and 8 from Thame.

Devastated

Local health campaigner Ozma Hafiz said:

"I'm devastated to learn that we were right about the threat to community hospital beds. Unfortunately, we've heard the term 'pilot' used before when Ward 5B closed.  

This essential respite care should be available to residents.''

£1 million investment

Bucks Healthcare said the removal of the beds is to make room for a new community service being offered at the hospitals, backed by an investment of over £1 million.They said:

"During the community hubs pilot, clinicians will not use the 20 inpatient beds at Marlow and Thame hospitals. Instead the space will be used to run the frailty assessment clinics, where more than 350 patients will benefit from this new service."

In an interview with Mix 96, Carolyn Morris, Chief Nurse at Bucks Healthcare added:

"The key message to get across is that we're investing £1 million to expand our community services; we're not closing our community hospitals."

"We are doing something different, and what we're looking at is replacing the opportunity to provide care in 20 beds with a new model of care which we anticipate will benefit 350 patients from both of those hospitals."

The healthcare trust said the new services will double the number of outpatient appointments appointments offered at some community hospitals, provide short term support packages to bridge the gap between home and hospital to over 3000 people and reduce hospital admissions, seeing 350 people through a new frailty assessment service.

So what are these new community hub services?

In a statement Bucks Healthcare described their new services:

  • The launch of community hubs at Marlow and Thame Hospitals
    The hubs bring community health services together and are close to the people they serve. They will help patients to access prevention services, primary care services and hospital services (such as outpatient appointments, links with the voluntary sector to provide new services and wound care or diagnostic testing) that they may have previously had to travel to.
  • Frailty assessment clinics. A key feature of the community hubs will be frailty assessment clinics. The launch of these new clinics in Thame and Marlow, in addition to those already running at Stoke Mandeville and Wycombe hospitals, will help frail older patients avoid a visit to Accident and Emergency or a hospital admission. Teams of elderly care consultants, nurses, therapists, paramedics and GPs will provide expert assessments, undertake tests and agree a treatment plan with patients. If required they can refer patients to the right community or hospital team to provide ongoing support or treatment. 
  • Locality integrated teams to provide joined up care. Integrated teams, including nurses, therapists and social workers linking with GPs and practice nurses, will provide 24/7 cover to manage those patients identified as needing the greatest health and care support, typically those who have long term conditions. As a result patients will receive better, more co-ordinated care in their homes.
  • Rapid response intermediate care. Therapists, care staff and community nurses will provide short-term packages of support in people’s own homes of up to six weeks to those who would benefit from a ‘jump start’ back to independence. These packages of care will help avoid a stay in hospital and help patients to leave hospital promptly once they are able to do so.
  • Community care coordinator This will provide GPs, hospital clinicians and other health and social care staff with 24/7 phone and email ‘single point of access’ to organise specialist community services for their patients.
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