Key decision clears way for development of new community health services for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire

NHS clinical commissioners for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire today agreed to back plans for community based services including the creation of integrated care hubs.

The decision was made at an Extra-Ordinary Governing Body meeting of the two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) held in public at Stoke-on-Trent’s Moat House Hotel.

The members considered, in detail, a Decision Making Business Case (DMBC) which included all the original options that were outlined during a 14-week public consultation that took place between December 2018 and March 2019.

They have now formally backed the preferred options for integrated care hubs which are:

  • In South Stoke-on-Trent, the creation of a new build in Longton 
  • In Staffordshire Moorlands to rebuild Leek Hospital 
  • In Newcastle-under-Lyme, Bradwell Hospital will be reconfigured and modernised
  • In North Stoke-on-Trent, Haywood Hospital will be reconfigured and modernised

In the case of community beds, 132 beds will be provided, with 77 at Haywood Hospital and 55 commissioned at local care homes. The CCGs will continue to work with the local authorities and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to monitor the quality of the care provided and wherever possible we will be commissioning beds from homes which are rated as Good or Outstanding. More can be commissioned if necessary. 

There will be no Tier 4 clinics at Leek.

Dr Alison Bradley, Chair of North Staffordshire CCG who also Chaired the meeting said: “This is an important step in a process that has been lengthy but exceptionally thorough. It has involved an enormous amount of hard work, and we have spoken to and considered the views expressed by many people, both in writing and face-to-face during the consultation process. I would like to thank everyone who has participated.

“Now this decision has been taken it clears the way to develop relevant business cases for the required capital investment that will give us modern facilities that will be fit-for-purpose and serve our communities in the decades ahead.”

Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for the CCGs said: “We have had community provision that is out-of-date and in need of reform and we have been trying to address this for years.

“In June 2019 the Governing Bodies considered the outcome of the consultation and decided that more work needed to be done to reassure us we had everything needed to make the correct decisions.

“That resulted in the Decision Making Business Case we considered today. It involved a deep-dive into several areas of concern expressed by the public including the need for care closer to home, the number and distribution of rehabilitation beds, the quality of care home provision, and travel. We also sought clinical advice and assurance around our proposals from the West Midlands Clinical Senate.

“We believe this decision will provide the right levels of community services, providing care and support for our populations, and delivering that care in the most appropriate place and at the right time. It will ensure that the quality of care received by patients within community services is of the highest standard and reduce avoidable emergency admissions which put so much pressure on our acute hospitals.

“We also believe it will help our dedicated workforce deliver care in a more joined-up way, and enhance their development opportunities and improve recruitment and retention.

“We shall now begin the next phase, which is to work with partners including our community provider, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT), as well as our local authority colleagues to ensure these plans come to fruition.

Neil Carr, Chief Executive of MPFT, said: “I am really pleased that there is now a decision, which brings certainty for our staff. MPFT is absolutely committed to services being provided in the community and outside of hospital, wherever possible. We are so committed to the way forward that we are funding the changes needed to the buildings. This is in the order of £30m.”

No decision has yet been taken on the future of Cheadle Hospital and Longton Cottage 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.