Coverage of Seaton hospital bed closures

Owl still thinks THIS is the real reason for the hurried closure:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/08/20/is-this-why-there-is-a-dangerous-rush-to-close-community-hospital-beds/

“Protesters waved banners and shouted ‘shame’ outside Seaton Hospital today (Monday, August 21) as health chiefs began implementing their in-patient bed closure plans.

A similar vigil will take place outside Honiton Hospital next Monday when the cuts are due to begin there.

Yesterday’s gathering was addressed by Seaton’s county councillor Martin Shaw who said the town had been badly let down, and town mayor Jack Rowland, who said that while they may have lost the fight to save the beds the battle would now begin to save the actual hospital.

The dates for the closure of in-patient beds in East Devon was announced by health officials last week.

In a statement the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust said: “The NHS has given details of how it intends to implement its ‘Your Future Care’ plans to improve patient care across Eastern Devon, including creating new nursing, therapist and support roles.

“Your Future Care” set out proposals to move away from the existing bed-based model of care. Instead it proposed a model of care focused on proactively averting health crises and promoting independence and wellbeing.

“The plans were subject to a 13-week public consultation that closed earlier this year, following which the NHS NEW Devon CCG approved a way forward which enhanced community services to support more home-based care by redirecting and reinvesting some existing bed-based resources. The net result would mean an increase of over 50 community-based staff to support out of hospital care and a reduction in community inpatient beds across the Eastern locality of Devon.

“Detailed operational work began in this area with the introduction of the Community Connect out-of-hospital service in March which has already led to a reduction in demand for community inpatient beds.

“In order to achieve this transition safely, implementation will take a phased approach to redeploy and recruit staff to the additional nursing, therapy, care workers and pharmacist roles which will enhance community services in Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon.

This will enable the reduction in inpatient beds – moving from seven community inpatient units to three.

The timetable for implementation is:

• Seaton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017

• Okehampton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017

• Honiton Community Hospital week commencing 28 August 2017

• Exeter Community Hospital week commencing 4 September 2017.

“The provision of inpatient services at these locations will cease from these dates. All other services at these hospitals will continue as normal. Patients in these areas in medical need of a community inpatient bed will be accommodated at either Tiverton, Sidmouth or Exmouth hospitals, depending on where they live.

“Over the past couple of weeks it has become apparent that the schedule for the closure of the in-patient units needs to be brought forward. This is due to the increasing pressures on safely staffing the current configuration of seven community inpatient units. Furthermore, now that the workforce HR consultation has been completed, 170 staff can be redeployed into the enhanced community teams and our hospitals to provide extra capacity and resilience to meet the demand for care for the people of Eastern Devon.”

Adel Jones, Integration Director at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is acknowledged that getting to this point in the process has not been without its challenges and I would like to thank all who have contributed to the development of the implementation plans.”

Dr Anthony Hemsley, Associate Medical Director at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital said: “Although the decision to reduce inpatient beds will only affect a small number of patients per week, we, with the support of the clinical assurance panel, are confident that our plans to provide more care at home are safe and ultimately will help more people to be independent.

“At the point of implementation, we will be able to redirect some of the existing bed-based resource into local community teams. Additional staff including community nurses, therapists and personal support workers will be there to provide greater provision and access to care and support. However, we know that there is still much more work to be done, particularly around prevention, wellbeing, recruitment of staff and availability of domiciliary care. This can only be done in partnership with communities and we at the RD&E look forward to continuing this work.”

Rob Sainsbury, chief operating officer for NEW Devon CCG, said: “Reallocating resources away from hospital bed-based care into more home-based and community care will really make a positive difference to people’s lives.

“It will ensure that everyone who needs the service in our community has the best access to good quality and sustainable health services and help people to stay independent for longer, with the benefit of being cared for closer to family and friends.”

http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/protest-over-seaton-hospital-bed-closures-1-5157377

Care at home – in your dreams, sorry – nightmares!

A comment from Save Our Hospitals Facebook on the Seaton hospital beds closure today and Honiton next week:

“What utter tripe!!!!

Out of all our nursing auxiliaries at Honiton there is ONE, being redeployed in community. The rest have been shipped to Exeter and Sidmouth!!
How’s that for care in the community! The bloke [Neil Parish MP, who responds to worried constituents with an anodyne “round robin” but voted through the cuts] is a total liar, as is the rest of them!! When it came to the crunch,they all turned their backs on their community!! God help them!!”

RIP Seaton Community Hospital beds – vigil, noon today

The town with the largest catchment area for elderly people – its community hospital closes the doors on its beds today.

Built by public subscription, funded by a hard-working League of Friends, only its outpatient services will remain – for now.

The heart of a community stops beating today.

Thanks to the vote of East Devon District Leader (Paul Diviani – who voted at EDDC against his own district recommendation) and former Leader and Chair of DCC Health and Social Care Committee Sarah Randall-Johnson, who voted along with all other Conservatives on that committee not to refer the closures of Seaton and Honiton (next Monday) to the Secretary of State.

This will leave the whole of the eastern side of the district with no community beds at all – the few remaining beds to be (for the time being) in Sidmouth and Exmouth, closer to Exeter and Cranbrook.

Is this why there is a dangerous rush to close community hospital beds?

Nothing to do with care at home”, everything to do with austerity cuts. AND much more opportunity for private companies to make big profits from home care instead of NHS costs in hospitals.

“Councils have been told to reduce hospital bed-blocking by up to 70% by next month or face funding cuts.

The warning came in a letter, seen by The Sunday Times, sent to council and NHS chief executives by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department of Health last month.

The letter sets out the “expectations” it has for local authorities to reduce delays in discharging people from hospital, with some councils facing demands to cut bed-blocking by up to 70%.

Councils that do not do enough to help NHS patients go home could have their share of a £2bn social care fund withheld.

Of the 152 councils with social care responsibility, 42 are required to reduce bed-blocking by 60% or more, based on their performance in February. Reading borough council has been given the highest target of a 70% reduction.

More than two-thirds are expected to reduce bed-blocking attributable to social care by 50% or more.

The letter accompanying the targets said progress would be assessed in November and 2018-19 allocations of the £2bn fund could be reviewed.

This could see poorly performing councils lose out on anticipated funding.

Last night, Izzi Seccombe, a Tory council leader who speaks on community wellbeing for the Local Government Association, said setting “unrealistic and unachievable targets” for councils to cut bed-blocking was “counterproductive.”

“The threat of reviewing councils’ funding allocations for social care . . . could leave many councils facing the absurd situation of failing to meet an unattainable target, losing their funding and, on top of this, potentially being fined by hospitals.”

Last month The Sunday Times revealed that the NHS had fined at least 22 councils for causing delays in discharging patients and threatened 11 others with charges.

A DCLG spokesman said: “No one should stay in hospital longer than necessary. It puts unneeded pressure on our hospitals and wastes taxpayers’ money.”

Source: Sunday Times (pay wall)

“Neil Parish MP snubs Seaton Mayor’s request for urgent meeting with Health Secretary”

And Parish sends a circular letter as his reply – one exactly like others he sent to people also asking him to save their hospitals:

“Councillor Jack Rowland, Mayor of Seaton, has posted on Facebook:

As many of you know I wanted to arrange a face to face meeting with Neil Parish and Jeremy Hunt regarding the CCG decision to close the hospital beds at Seaton Hospital.

I’ve now received a reply from Neil Parish and the email I sent to him and the reply is reproduced below.

Dear Jack,

Thank you for your email on beds at Honiton and Seaton.

I am deeply saddened by the decisions to close beds at Honiton and Seaton Hospitals. I wanted beds to be retained at Seaton and Honiton, as part of a wider upgrade to health services in Devon. This closure is not the outcome I wanted. I would like to pay tribute to all the staff who have worked so hard to maintain fantastic inpatient beds at the hospitals over the past years.

We now have to make the best of the current situation. The CCG have stated they believe there is sufficient at-home care to replace the current beds. Hospital staff will now be redeployed into community care. Every patient who previously required care in the hospitals must now have the same level of care delivered to them at home or in a residential care home. This promise must be kept and I will be monitoring the situation carefully.

Regarding the future of Honiton and Seaton Hospitals, I want the buildings to continue to host vital health and social care services. Particularly, I want the sites to be used as health and social care hubs, with a positive future for each of the locations. I believe the hospitals still have an important role to play in community healthcare services. Any suggestions you could provide in this area, which would help maintain viable services at Seaton, would be appreciated.

I know this might be a disappointing response, but I hope we can continue to maintain excellent care in our community.

Thank you again for your email.

Yours sincerely,

Neil

Neil Parish MP
Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton
House of Commons | London | SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 7172 | Email: neil.parish.mp@parliament.uk
http://www.neilparish.co.uk

In response to this email:

From: cllr.jack.rowland@btinternet.com [mailto:cllr.jack.rowland@btinternet.com]
Sent: 16 August 2017 12:26
To: PARISH, Neil
Cc: townclerk@seaton.gov.uk; Martin Shaw ; Marcus Hartnell
Subject: Seaton Hospital – bed closures

Dear Mr Parish,

I’m writing to you in my capacity as the Chair of Seaton Town Council.

As you are no doubt aware the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee of Devon County Council voted by 7 votes to 6 on 25 July not to refer the CCG decision to the Health Secretary for a review. An investigation has been called for regarding how the Scrutiny Committee Chair managed that meeting.

In the meantime the RDE Trust are accelerating the bed closure timetable from the original timetable and the beds in Seaton Hospital are now being phased out starting on 21 August and those in Honiton the following week.

This is despite no adequate answers being given to date regarding the concerns about the “Your Future Care” changes now being implemented. At the East Devon District Council Annual meeting all the Councillors present voted in favour of requiring more information on this subject and the EDDC Scrutiny Committee met in June to question representatives of the CCG and were not satisfied with the responses and maintained their opposition to Community Hospital bed closures.

At the Seaton Town Council meeting on 7 August I tabled a motion to demonstrate concern at the decision reached by the DCC Scrutiny Committee and to seek an urgent meeting with yourself and Jeremy Hunt to be attended by myself, Marcus Hartnell (Town and EDDC District Councillor) and Martin Shaw (Town and DCC Councillor). All the Town Councillors present voted in favour of my motion.

In view of your stated opposition to the bed closures in Seaton and Honiton I hope you can facilitate the meeting I am requesting in view of the overwhelming opposition from the elected Councillors in East Devon.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future regarding potential dates, times and venue – we would be willing to travel to London if necessary.

Regards
Jack Rowland
Seaton Town Council Chair / Mayor”

https://seatonmatters.org/2017/08/19/neil-parish-mp-snubs-seaton-mayors-request-for-urgent-meeting-with-health-secretary/amp/

“Seaton vigil will protest next week’s closure of community hospital beds”

Press release

“NEW Devon CCG, an unelected quango, intends to permanently close the remaining in-patient beds in Seaton and District Community Hospital next week (beds in Okehampton will close at the same time and in Honiton the following week).

The CCG has shamefully ignored the views of the community in Seaton, Colyton, Beer and Axminster and their elected representatives in the town, parish, district and county councils, all of whom have protested against this decision. A narrow majority of councillors on Devon County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, which failed to properly scrutinise the CCG’s decision, has prevented us from formally requiring the Secretary of State to re-examine it.

On the initiative of Cllr Martin Pigott, Vice-Chairman of Seaton Town Council, there will be a vigil outside the hospital on

Monday 21 August
from 12 to 1pm

to protest at the closure of the in-patient beds and express our deep concern about the very future of the hospital. Cllr Jack Rowland, Mayor of Seaton, and I will be supporting the vigil. We shall be supporting Seaton Town Council’s demand that, even at this late stage, Neil Parish MP must intervene with the Government to reverse this decision.”

Martin Shaw
Independent East Devon Alliance County Councillor for Seaton & Colyton

RIP Seaton and Honiton community hospitals – RIP some of their patients too?

by Barbara Worsley, Labour MP.

Most people who were rehabilitated in community hospitals will now be hostage to “care at home” and unable to access any other form of care – even residential and nursing homes.

“Seventy thousand older people with complex needs left to fend for themselves: Tory apathy on social care funding could turn a crisis into a catastrophe.

Despite evidence that life expectancy may be stagnating, the century-long rise should be a cause for celebration. However, for too many people – unsure whether they will be able to afford the care they may need or plan for the future – their later years are proving to be a time of fear and uncertainty.

Now we learn there will be insufficient care home places, even if people could afford them: 71,000 more care home beds will be required within eight years – according to a University of Newcastle study – to meet the demands of an ageing population living longer, with complex care needs. But there is little hope that these places will materialise.

Residential and nursing homes are already under unprecedented pressure. By the end of this financial year, £6.3bn will have been cut from social care budgets since 2010, with local authorities facing a £2.3bn care funding gap by 2020. These severe cuts, along with rising costs and problems of retaining and recruiting staff, mean that one in six care homes is now displaying signs of financial stress, and across England residential homes are closing.

And in the coming months, the signs are that things will get worse. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has reported that councils will have to cut social care budgets by a further £824m this financial year alone – meaning fewer older people getting the help they need with basic tasks such as washing, dressing and eating.

The Conservatives’ policy of cutting funding and leaving people to fend for themselves is simply not working. It has left us with 1.2 million older people living with unmet care needs, one in 10 facing catastrophic costs, and relatives forced to give up work to look after them. It has also left the Tory “dementia tax” alive and well – more than 70% of people in residential care, who face the highest care costs, have dementia.

If this apathy towards finding a solution for the social care crisis continues, there is a risk not only of insufficient care beds, but of serious care failures.

In Labour’s manifesto, we set out comprehensive plans to tackle the short-term funding gap in social care, promising £1bn this year and £8bn over this parliament to stabilise the sector. But we also recognised the need for a long-term funding solution to meet the needs of an ageing population. As Andrew Dilnot made clear, this must include pooling risks – so that no one is left to face catastrophic costs alone – and raising the means-test threshold, so that no one loses everything they own.

Enough is enough. This government has had ample wake-up calls. Now it must give social care the funding it needs and develop a long-term plan to put the sector on a sustainable footing – so that today’s generation of older people and those to come get the care they need and deserve.”

• Barbara Keeley, Labour MP for Worsley and Eccles South, is shadow minister for social care and mental health

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/17/conservative-solution-unaffordable-care-crisis