A HOSPITAL in a Moorlands town is set to be “repurposed” after medical authorities voted on future health and social care community-based services. The decision on Cheadle Hospital, located on Royal Walk, comes after members of the North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (CCGs) Governing Bodies voted on which Integrated Care Hubs ‘option’ they wanted to see implemented at a meeting at the Moat House in Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday, January 21. Out of several choices, members elected to vote in “Option 2b” which stated that: “Leek Hospital Hub services delivered from existing Leek Hospital site (with rebuild) with Cheadle hospital site repurposed.”
In addition to the Integrated Care Hubs, decisions on the future of bed configuration for Adult
Intermediate Rehabilitation Service Beds (AIRS beds) and the future of ‘Tier 4’ clinics at Leek Moorlands Hospital were made.
After the meeting, Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCG’s, told the Times and Echo: “Cheadle sits within the Local Plan, has a population of 13,000 and has three GP practices within the Cheadle borough.
“Conversations we are having with the District Council, County Council, and GP practices are looking at providing an integrated health, care and leisure offer in Cheadle.
“Now decisions have been made we can ramp up these discussions.
“At the end of the day if we can’t find a solution then we have a hospital to think about.”
Mr Warnes went on to say that despite this, he hopes that discussions will get to a point where all parties find a solution.
In a statement released by the CCGs following the meeting, a spokesman added: “No decision has yet been taken on the future of Cheadle Hospital, but the CCGs are working with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to look at alternative options for the town.
“This will form part of the development of business cases for the development of the new facilities.”
THE DECISION MAKING DOCUMENT
A 578-PAGE Decision Making Business Case (DMBC) document outlined what consultations, processes and assessments had taken place prior to the formulation of the various options which were decided upon at yesterday’s meeting of the CCGs.
The document said: “People are living longer with increasing long-term conditions, requiring ongoing support and management, putting a significant strain on our services and the sustainability of health system.”
“We need to think differently about how we provide services closer to home, and in particular for adults with high clinical needs.”
Within this document, it explained how the model of care created came out of Staffordshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s works on “enhanced primary and community care.”
Out of this came the proposal to deliver support using Integrated Care Teams and Hubs.
Integrated Care Teams (ICTs) will aim to “predominantly work at locality level based around networks of general practices,” while the Hubs enable services that need to be delivered on a wider scale “to maximise efficiency and effectiveness” but is also on a small enough scale to meet to population needs.
Ahead of the meeting, three consultation stages took place: A pre-consultation engagement from October to December 2017 which included clinical colleagues; a consultation process from December 2018 to March 2019 which included consultation through public events – including one in Cheadle – and surveys; and a post-consultation development stage from June 2019 to December 2019 in which the “CCGs undertook further detailed analysis which builds on the work undertaken and consultation responses.”
The document said that while 71 per cent of survey respondents supported the approach to creating four integrated care hubs, concerns of impact on travel and alternatives available for a number of areas (including Cheadle) were raised among several others.
In response to these worries, the DMBC report said: “detailed travel and access analysis has highlighted a number of areas of impact which we will seek to mitigate as plans progress.”
Research outlined in the DMBC suggested that the Staffordshire Moorlands, which has a population of around 98,000, is “significantly older than the national average, with fewer young adults.”
It went on to say that the life expectancy of males in the district was 80.1 years – higher than both Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-Under-Lyme and 0.9 years above the average in England.
For females, life expectancy is at 82.8 years, 0.1 years below England’s average.
It also stated that the Moorlands is “generally less deprived than the national average, but it has pockets of high deprivation in some urban areas.”
The new proposals, the document said, are aiming to “meet the demands of an ageing population” and tackle an “over-reliance on bed-based care with historically high numbers of community beds for the size of population.”
The DMBC said that, based on the principles that have been set out (such as “decreasing time spent in acute hospital” and “giving people real choice to die in their preferred place of residence without unnecessary admissions to hospital”), a “model of care that focuses on the individual and aims to wrap care around them and their needs, placing as much care in or near a person’s home” was designed.
The document continued: “Overall the concept of bringing care closer to home were popular, but some concerns were raised during engagement with the public.”
In consultations, the public touched on several themes, including accessibility and facilities.
Topics ranged from “travelling time to access healthcare should the number of sites be reduced” to “buildings should be fully utilised and should bring community services closer together.”
At the meeting of the governing bodies yesterday, Mr Warnes stated that he thought the model of care proposed was “future-proof.”
CARE HUBS AND AIRS BEDS
In it’s explanation of the Integrated Care Hubs, the DMBC document stated that long-term condition specific services, mental health services and community wellbeing teams would be offered.
‘Option 2b’ was not an original option but was added to the shortlist following further engagement.
The DMBC report states that out of the six AIRS beds options, it recommended that the “provision across Haywood Hospital and Care Homes” was the best route to take.
This recommendation was voted in by governing body members at yesterday’s meeting.
Despite the document stating that there was general support for the proposed model of care, it said that in public consultation, concerns were expressed that “none of the options provided enough bed capacity to meet demand” and “healthcare provision outside of community hospitals was not adequate and, on occasions was poor.”
The DMBC document stated: “Through the consultation and range of engagement undertaken, our population has raised concerns that, by changing the number of community beds in certain localities, there may not be enough beds to meet demand, particularly during busy periods.
“We acknowledge this risk and are committed to ensuring that there is sufficient capacity in the system to cope with surges in demand – such as winter pressures.
“We have undertaken further work to ensure that the number of beds we are proposing will be sufficient to meet demand.”
The document also recommended that Tier 4 services (specialist services delivered by specialist consultant clinics) at Leek Moorlands Hospital should be decommissioned.
This too was voted in by governing body members at Tuesday’s meeting.
After several stages of progressions, the report forecasts that “a full implementation and roll out plan will be developed with an estimated date of January 2021 for the first build to commence.”
In regards to the AIRS beds at Haywood Hospital, after 24 preceding progression stages, the transition to the new model will commence in January 2021 and be completed in April 2021.
We are the only family run, independent newspaper and magazine business in Staffordshire, established 1896. We are home to three weekly newspapers – The Cheadle and Tean Times (aka The Stunner), The Uttoxeter Echo and The Blythe and Forsbrook Times.
We also produce Peeps into the Past, a bi-monthly nostalgic glimpse into our photographic archives, and three bi-monthly glossy lifestyle magazines – Stone and Eccleshall Life, Leek Life and Newcastle Life.
T. 01538 752214 or 753162
18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Staffs ST10 1BD
T. 01889 562479
5 Church Street, Uttoxeter, Staffs ST14 8AG (Uttoxeter Office is a postal address only)