1,000 signatures reached
To: Chairman of NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group; Secretary of State for Health; Health Select Committee
Save Community Hospital Beds in East Devon
Patients demand that Devon CCG:
• Does not cut more community beds in the ‘Eastern Locality’
• Ensures that properly funded and adequate community care is in place and judged to meet care quality standards
We ask the Chairman of Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Devon's MPs to back this request and ask the Secretary of State for Health, and the Health Select Committee to intervene and stop this programme of cuts before patients suffer.
Why is this important?
Devon CCG is recommending the loss of 71 out of 143 community beds in eastern Devon. This follows 25 bed losses last year, including Axminster, Ottery St Mary, Crediton and Budleigh Salterton.
Devon's 'Your Future Care' consultation is flawed. We do not believe that community beds should be closed at all.
• East Devon has an above average population of elderly people
• Many people in community hospital beds cannot be cared for at home because they are too unwell, even with enhanced care, or they have dementia or require end of life care
• A 2015 audit identified over 600 people being cared for in a hospital bed who did not need to be there, but who lacked home support to enable them to return home
• These patients will mostly be elderly and frail with complex needs, taking longer to recuperate from illness, operations and acute hospitals. It is a disaster in the making and is a money saving exercise at the expense of the patients’ health outcome.
• Acute hospitals are increasingly unable to discharge patients because of the lack of available community services. Community services are already overstretched with an acute lack of appropriate carers for people in their own homes and difficulties with recruitment.
There is no evidence that shifting from bed-based to community care works in a rural area like East Devon with a high incidence of elderly people with complex needs. These models of care need to be agreed and will take time to test and establish. The CCG will tell you that the new model of care with patients using their own beds has worked well in North Devon after removal of beds in Torrington, Ilfracombe and Bideford. IT DOES NOT AND EVIDENCE TO THIS EFFECT IS BEING IGNORED.
Chronic underfunding by government of health and social care in Devon has led to the crisis we face today. Only the government can change this. In the past five years, council budgets for social care have fallen behind demand by £5 billion nationally, and 150,000 fewer people receive at-home help than five years ago.
We must challenge the validity of this process: Honiton and Okehampton Community Hospital beds will be closed without consultation; a 'status quo' option must be considered; full financial and assessment information should be shared. The public need a full, transparent and meaningful consultation, rather than the CCG paying lip service to the process under government pressure.
These proposed cuts to community hospital beds is the first stage in a relentless sequence of service reductions which will be outlined in the Sustainability and Transformation Plan to be published in November.
Information released under the Freedom of Information Act indicates that the Success Regime in NEW Devon received £1.4m in 2015-16, and a further £6m in 2016-17. This £7.4m has been spent on management consultants and legal advice. Potential front line funding is being wasted on these re-organisations
This massive change needs transparency; whole system changes and, above all, investment from central government. Closing more community hospital beds with no proven plan for care in place is high risk. The proposals as they stand, without adequate funding for alternative care, may save money, but they will not improve patient care and may compromise patient safety.