Public asked to help develop options for community hospitals and services

North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are currently going through the rigorous NHS England Assurance process with regards to the future configuration of services delivered from all five community hospitals in northern Staffordshire.

Having now received support for the Model of Care from the West Midlands Clinical Senate and feedback from an NHS England Strategic Sense Check Panel, we are in a position to move forwards to the next stage.

The CCGs are planning to gather further views from the public and partners about local needs and the future of local healthcare services between October and December 2017.

We will be asking people to help us develop the options for the community hospitals and services at in Leek, Bradwell, Cheadle, Longton and the Haywood Hospitals from which proposals will be developed.

We aim to develop a range of options and proposals that will form the basis of a preconsultation business case. This business case will need NHS England approval to assure it that the local health economy can satisfy the rigorous tests for major service reconfiguration set out by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, earlier this year.

Formal consultation on the options and proposals will then take place next year.

Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for both CCGs said, “Following extensive engagement on the ‘My Care, My Way – Home First’ model of care last year and the success that we have had in ensuring that we are more appropriately meeting the needs of patients when discharged from hospital, we now plan to consult on future health and care needs, the community hospitals and the services they provide.

“I would like to reiterate that despite many rumours that people may have heard, no decisions have been made about the community hospitals and won’t be until after the consultation process.

“It is our intention to design local services for local people with local people. I know that this may appear a frustratingly long and drawn out process, not least because of the delays caused by local and national elections and the assurance process, which is right and proper. However, it is important that we get this process right and the CCGs remain confident that together we can build future services that deliver better outcomes for local communities, are sustainable and safe.”

Over the next few weeks, the CCGs will be making the necessary arrangements and widely publicising how people can get involved in the engagement and consultation process.