• No costs attached to strategy on major shake-up of Devon’s community hospitals

    16th June 2014 | News | Claire
  • NHS managers from the NEW Devon clinical commissioning group (CCG), Jenny McNeill and Rebecca Harriott, presented their over-arching strategy for community health services, which has been criticised for its lack of detail.

    I asked about costs because I am aware that the local NHS is in financial difficulty and I am unconvinced that the new proposals, which focus on moving care to people’s homes and are likely to involve widespread community hospital bed losses, can save money in such a rural area.

    Rebecca Harriott confirmed that there were no costs yet prepared and that this would happen when the specific proposals were consulted on, from next month.

    I also expressed concerns about submitting the strategic document without specific plans or costs, to NHS England at the end of this month, which is an immoveable deadline. 

    Other councillors were also worried by a lack of clarity on costs, especially as the clinical commissioning group was recommending that the committee endorsed its strategic direction.

    Cllr Brian Greenslade said: “I just don’t buy a proposal that has no figures.”

    However, Cllr Jerry Brook said he was happy for the costs to be made available in due course.

    Cllr Caroline Chugg asked what would happen if the NHS found out when they did their costings that their plans were unaffordable.

    Rebecca Harriott replied that the NHS would make sure its plans were affordable.

    Last week, EDDC’s overview and scrutiny committee heard that the CCG may shut the in-patient beds at up to three East Devon community hospitals. See the report of the meeting here – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/closure_of_in_patient_beds_possible_at_three_east_devon_community_hospitals

    Last week, BBC Spotlight ran a story documenting a number of concerns about the consultation strategy document, which is available for comment until 8 July.

    To comment visit, http://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/involve/community-services/101039 or phone 01392 267680.

    The webcast of today’s health scrutiny meeting is here – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/