6 February 2017
Message from Liz Davenport (Chief Operating Officer):
As you know, our vision is to support more and more people to remain at home, or return quicker if they do need a hospital stay, and to do this we need to focus more of our resource on community services. It has always been our plan as part of these arrangements to close some acute and community beds.
Our new care model is based on increasing our capacity to provide community-based care, and to reduce people’s reliance on bed-based care. We have taken big steps towards achieving this in recent months, with our £2.31m investment in enhanced intermediate care and the voluntary sector through the appointment of Wellbeing Co-ordinators. We have always planned to have this community care up and running before we closed any acute or community beds.
We now believe that the time is right to plan to close 32 acute beds. Before we can close any acute beds, we will need to have in place elsewhere the clinical expertise to care for patients currently occupying these beds. As an Executive Team we are working with clinical and operational leads to assess the options to achieve this.
Through these discussions our aims are to:
- Ensure that the welfare of our patients remain the focus of any proposals
- Ensure that plans are in place for patients to receive the care they need elsewhere from within our Trust
- Keep staff and unions informed as plans progress.
I know that there are rumours about particular wards closing and I hear that other misinformation is being circulated via social media. Please note that options are being considered, but no formal decisions are being taken until the end of February; and no closures of acute beds will start to come into effect before April.
Although we have now started planning for the safe closure of Dartmouth, Ashburton, Bovey Tracey and Paignton community hospitals, no dates have yet been set for these closures. We have to ensure we meet the criteria agreed by the CCG before any closures begin.
I realise that staff will be feeling concerned about these changes. We will keep staff informed during the planning process by cascading messages to teams, as appropriate. Please speak with your Line Manager if you have any concerns that are not being addressed.