The independent report following the public consultation ‘Improving Patient Care – The Next Steps’ on the future of older people’s rehabilitation services has been published today and is available on the public website www.bfwhospitals.nhs.uk/consultation or to download here.
A 12-week public consultation was held between November 8th 2012 and January 31st 2013 to get the views of staff, patients and the public on proposals to modernise and improve older people’s rehabilitation in-patient services and provide healthcare closer to people’s homes.
The proposals were:

  • To provide a dedicated consultant led rehabilitation service for the Fylde Coast (based at Clifton Hospital)
  • The permanent relocation of services from Rossall Hospital to Clifton Hospital
  • The permanent location of services from Wesham Hospital to Clifton Hospital
  • To provide access to a care facility in the north of the Fylde Coast
  • To help reduce the need to admit patients to hospital, depending on the nature of the illness
  • To enable patients to be discharged earlier from hospital by providing better support services in the community.

During the consultation period more than 5,000 consultation documents and feedback questionnaires were circulated and 310 members of the public and healthcare staff attended public meetings which were held in locations across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. Survey participants were asked their views on each proposal. In total, 269 questionnaires were completed (231 on paper and 38 online).

The key findings of the independent report were as follows:

  • 70% of respondents strongly supported or tended to support the proposal to develop a consultant led rehabilitation service, 23% strongly opposed or tended to oppose the proposal.
  • 44% of respondents strongly supported or tended to support the permanent relocation of services from Wesham Hospital to Clifton Hospital, 41% strongly opposed or tended to oppose the proposal 33% of respondents strongly supported or tended to support the permanent location of services from Rossall Hospital to Clifton Hospital, 57% strongly opposed or tended to oppose the proposal
  • 69% of respondents supported the proposal to provide access to a care facility in the north of the Fylde Coast, 13% strongly opposed or tended to oppose the proposal. 79% of respondents supported the proposal to help reduce the need to admit to patients to hospital in the first place depending on the nature of the illness, 11% strongly opposed or tended to oppose the proposal
  • 65% of respondents supported the proposal to enable patients to be discharged earlier from hospital, 22% strongly opposed or tended to oppose the proposal

The findings of the public consultation show there is strong public support for the development of a dedicated consultant led rehabilitation service, however, some concerns were raised in relation to additional travelling time to Clifton Hospital and access for people who do not live close to public transport routes.
The full findings of the independent report have been considered by Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who accept the proposals for a consultant led rehabilitation service to be developed at Clifton Hospital. This will result in the permanent relocation of rehabilitation services from Wesham Hospital to Clifton Hospital and the permanent relocation of rehabilitation services from Rossall Hospital to Clifton Hospital. Discussions are on-going about the potential future uses of these sites.

The public strongly supported the proposal to provide a non-consultant led care facility in the north of the Fylde. Work is still on-going regarding the location and types of services provided from this facility.
Over the coming months Clifton Hospital will undergo refurbishment in preparation for the consultant led service being located on the site. Patients will start to be transferred from Rossall Hospital to Clifton Hospital from August 1st 2013.
Work is already well underway on a number of schemes to enhance services to support people in the community and in their own homes – avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. This was strongly supported by staff, patients and the public during the consultation. A total of £3.6M is being invested in a variety of schemes which include:

  • Enhancing nursing and therapy teams to provide community services seven days a week.
  • Better carer support and services to support patients when they leave hospital e.g. rapid nursing teams and care support packages.
  • A new single point access service to signpost patients to the right health professional and health service at the right time.

The proposals were developed by hospital consultants and GPs and are fully supported by the clinical leaders across the Fylde Coast.
Almost 100 people who responded to the consultation expressed an interest in being involved in the future development of health services. They will be contacted over the coming the weeks to see how we can work together to shape future services for the benefit of patients across the Fylde Coast.
Dr Mark O’Donnell, Medical Director of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “The development of the consultant led service at Clifton Hospital will enable us to vastly improve the quality of rehabilitation we are able to provide to our patients meaning they will spend less time in hospital. By concentrating our resources and expertise on one site we will be able to provide more time delivering direct patient care, leading to better outcomes and shorter lengths of stay for patients.”

Dr Amanda Doyle, Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer of Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are really pleased with the involvement of the public in this consultation and appreciate the fact that so many people want to take an active role in shaping health care services in Blackpool.
“Blackpool CCG aims to continuously improve the quality of local health care services and deliver the best for our local population.
Dr Tony Naughton, Clinical Chief Officer of Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We believe these changes will offer improved care for older people who have suffered serious illness or injury. In particular, we are investing an extra £1.7m in rehabilitation support based in the community, which will enable more people to receive the treatment they need at home or locally to where they live. We acknowledge that some people do have a number of concerns and will monitor the situation in order to identify and try to resolve any problems.”

 
Note to Editors: This Press Release has been issued on behalf of Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For further information please call Caroline Hastie on 01253 303538.