Public Hijack CCG Consultation Meeting in Leek

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The public took overall control of a consultation meeting held in the Moorlands about the future provision of health and social care.

The North Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups were due to unveil for the second time, their preferred models of local community services for the Staffordshire Moorlands at a public consultation event held at the St Edwards Academy in Leek on Monday evening.

County Councillor Charlotte Atkins [Labour] effectively hijacked the meeting at the outset to propose that the structure of the meeting be changed so that the members of the public had enough time to air their concerns and ask their questions. The panel accepted her proposal and a two-hour question and answer session duly followed.

The meeting was organised and chaired by members of the Governing Body of The North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCG’s and should have focused mainly on proposals to integrate and expand existing wider community services into Integrated Care Hubs and the bed configuration for community services.

The CCG’s preferred option aims to provide and improve care by introducing four integrated care hubs across North Staffordshire including one based in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

These hubs will provide care for people who are frail or have several long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart failure and kidney disease as well as the elderly and frail members of the community. Care will be provided by nurses and social care workers alongside physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other care professionals as a part of an Integrated Care Team.

This is a form of integrated care, where a patient’s specific needs are put at the centre of everything that is done for them. It is coordinated or joined up so medical professionals with different expertise can work together to find the best options for
the patient.

There were two options presented for the Moorlands Care Hub – to either refurbish Leek Moorlands Community Hospital or to build a new hub on the existing site.

The joint CCG’s preferred option is to build a brand-new Integrated Care Hub on the existing site of Leek Moorlands Community Hospital.

Members of the public present did not seem unduly concerned with the move to Integrated Care Hubs/Teams but opinion was split between those who wanted the existing hospital to be refurbished and those who preferred a new care hub to be built on the existing site.

As was evident at the first public consultation meeting, it was the options presented for the provision of community beds across North Staffordshire that caused concern for many of the audience assembled.

It has been established that there are 132 community beds needed across North Staffordshire. In all the options presented, at least 77 will be retained at Haywood Community Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. The reason for this is the fact that that particular hospital was built under the PFI scheme and was still subject to a £6 million mortgage.

The options for the remaining 55 would see beds provided at either Leek Moorlands Community Hospital, Longton Cottage Hospital, Cheadle Community Hospital or Bradwell Community Hospital.

It was the CCG’s preferred option that again gave the assembled audience cause for concern. Most speakers spoke out against the joint CCG’s to place 55 NHS commissioned assessment beds in local private care homes rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the CQC but paid for by the NHS.

Ian Syme, a well-known local health campaigner, revealed to the meeting that the majority of NHS assessment beds currently procured within the private sector in North Staffordshire were in care homes that have a CQC rating of ‘Requires Improvement’.

It was also revealed through this consultation that it is proposed that a number of consultant led clinics would move from Leek Moorlands Community Hospital to The Royal Stoke University Hospital. These include Colon and rectal check-ups, Dermatology, Nephrology, Neurology, Trauma and orthopaedic surgery and general surgery.

It was stressed several times during the evening that the proposals are still subject to consultation and that no decisions on any of the options presented have been made.

You can read/download/print the consultation document presented at the meeting here.

Throughout the night our reporter recorded interviews with the CCG, politicians and members of the public who were present at the meeting: