HEALTH chiefs have responded to fears that community hospital beds could be cut by 44 per cent under the new Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).
Under the plans beds in hospitals like Evesham Community Hospital, Pershore Hospital as well as those in Bromsgrove, Tenbury and Malvern could be radically reduced under the five year STP.
The aim would be to replace these with more care in the patient’s home, cared for by district staff, on the grounds that in many respects, people get better faster and are happier in their own home.
The plan even envisages the possibility of some community hospitals becoming ‘bedless’ and instead working as a hub where staff can go out and give care in the community.
A spokesperson for Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, which is leading the STP said: “At this stage our area’s draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) sets out some fairly high level thoughts for how health and care services could look over the next four to five years so we can better meet the health needs of our communities.
“A key part of the thinking is preventing ill health where we can, helping people better manage their long-term conditions themselves, and in improving the care we can provide in people’s own homes – if we get this right it could, over time, lead to fewer people needing to be admitted to a community hospital bed.
“If fewer people need a bed because they are getting more effective nursing or therapy care at home then, in the longer-term, you might consider changes to bed capacity but again this would be predicated on strengthening the support provided at home and the demand for beds going down.”
The trust is currently carrying out an online survey on the proposals and several questions are devoted to people’s views on where they would prefer to be cared for.
www.hacw.nhs.uk/yourconversation to have your say.