Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The future of Devon's health services: "Care in the community is not working"

At the beginning of the month, there were demonstrations across the County:
Futures Forum: The future of Devon's hospitals >>> demonstration >>> You Can’t Fool Us Day >>> Saturday 1st April at 10am >>> at the Sidmouth Victoria Hospital
Futures Forum: The future of Devon's hospitals >>> demonstration >>> You Can’t Fool Us Day >>> Saturday 1st April at 10am

The events were widely reported across the media:
‘Red lines’ protest hospital cuts across East Devon - View News
“Red Lines” at community hospitals get coverage in View from papers | East Devon Watch
Devon 'red line' protests over community hospital cuts - BBC News
Hundreds turn out for hospital cuts protests across Devon | Devon Live
Sidmouth protesters join ‘red line’ over NHS cutbacks - Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

It now appears that there is pressure coming from a serious lack of doctors:

Experts are calling for urgent action to tackle the issues, which are prompting GPs to consider a career change.

Dr Bruce Hughes, chairman of the Devon Local Medical Committee, said: "The research reaffirms the significant challenges our grassroot GPs and practice face every day as they strive to deliver high-quality patient care.
"There simply aren't enough GPs to deal with the anticipated further rising demand due to lack of entrants into the profession, retirements, those choosing to leave through burnout or disillusionment, or who have reduced their hours or moved abroad for a better work-life balance."

GPs 'planning to quit' over low morale and excessive workloads
GPs ‘planning to quit’ over low morale and workload pressure | Practicebusiness.co.uk

Care in the community ‘is not working’ claim Devon GPs

PUBLISHED: 13:22 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:06 14 February 2017

The Better Care Fund is not working nationally and North Devon’s GPs fear the same will happen locally with the STP review

A leading North Devon GP has called on the NHS to pause a review of services after a national report claimed care in the community was not working.

Dr Bruce Hughes, chairman of the Devon Local Medical Committee (DLMC) which represents GPs, was speaking following a National Audit Office report today (Wednesday).
It says the Government’s £5.3billion Better Care Fund had ‘fallen far short’ of its goal of integrating health and social care.
Dr Hughes, a partner at Fremington Medical Centre, said it reaffirmed GPs’ serious concerns locally about transferring some hospital services and care into the community.
They are worried the national picture could be reflected in the sustainability and transformation plan (STP) review currently going on in Devon, which includes proposals to care for more patients in their own homes.
He said: “The report’s findings indicate that this approach doesn’t tangibly improve patient outcomes and experience, reduce emergency hospital admissions or save money – something we fear could be replicated locally as the same principle of community-based care underpins much of the STP.
“We urge our STP leaders to pause the transformation process in the local healthcare system and closely examine the report to ensure that the STP and its aspirations aren’t flawed.”
The DLMC wants to know how moving hospital services or treatment into the community will be paid for, as GPs and other services are already greatly stretched.
Dr Hughes added: “We look forward to working closely with STP leaders in the coming months, as general practice is the gateway to the wider healthcare system and has a crucial role to play in the successful delivery of local transformation, to ensure high quality patient care.”
The Health and Social Care Integration report claims the Better Care Fund ‘has not achieved the expected value for money, in terms of savings, outcomes for patients or hospital activity’.

It says the national initiative did not achieve the planned savings of £511 million, with an 87,000 increase in emergency admissions to hospitals between 2014-15 and 2015-16, against a planned reduction of 106,000.

Care in the community ‘is not working’ claim Devon GPs - Breaking news & sport in Devon | North Devon Gazette

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