• East Devon hospital bed closures to be sped up due to staffing shortages

    15th August 2017 | News | Claire
  • Your Future Care

    I am writing to let you know that we are ready to proceed with the changes to improve care for people across Eastern Devon as part ‘Your Future Care’.

    These changes are intended to shift the focus of health and care services to keep more people well and independent at home. Part of this shift will be the redeployment and recruitment of over 50 nursing, therapy and support worker roles to enhance the existing community services in each local area. This will enable the reduction in the number of community inpatient beds across the Eastern locality of Devon. 

    In order to achieve this safely, we will take a phased approach – working closely with staff and partners – to implement the changes as per the following timetable:

    • Seaton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017
    • Okehampton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017
    • Honiton Community Hospital week commencing 28 August 2017
    • Exeter Community Hospital week commencing 4 September 2017 (this is the original closure timetable).

    The provision of inpatient services at these locations will cease from these dates. All other services at these hospitals will continue as normal. Patients in these areas in medical need of a community inpatient bed will be accommodated at either Tiverton, Sidmouth or Exmouth hospitals, depending on where they live.

    It has become apparent over the last couple of weeks that the schedule for the closure of the in-patient beds at Seaton, Okehampton and Honiton would need to be brought forward by a number of weeks due to the increasing pressures on safely staffing the current configuration of seven community inpatient units.

    We have been preparing the comprehensive plans for each area since March 2017 and are confident that moving to the new model swiftly is in the best interests for our patients and our staff. For example, our new Community Connect out-of-hospital service, introduced this Spring, has already led to a reduction in demand for community inpatient beds.

    Gateway Assurance Process
    As you may be aware, part of the implementation process included a clinical assurance panel reviewing the implementation plans against a series of 30 gateway questions. These were developed to provide assurance of the RD&E’s and the wider system’s readiness to switch to the Your Future Care model.

    The Gateway Assurance Panel has given its recommendation to proceed.  The workforce HR consultation has been completed and staff have been informed of their new roles and working environments.  We have also received the approval of the Equality and Quality Impact Assessments, which took place on the 4th August.  We can now commence the redeployment of staff into our enhanced community teams and into the remaining community hospital sites.  This change will provide extra capacity and resilience to meet the needs of our local population.

    Your Future Care is just the beginning of the work needed to move fully to a model of care which proactively averts health crises and promotes independence and wellbeing for our population.

    There is still much more to be done and we at the RD&E look forward to continuing this in partnership with you and our local communities.

    Yours sincerely,

    Adel Jones
    Integration Director

    Photo:  Red Line protest at Ottery Hospital – 1 April 2017