Future of Minehead Hospital in question as health bosses look for savings

Somerset County Gazette: Future of Minehead Hospital in question as health bosses look for savings Future of Minehead Hospital in question as health bosses look for savings

FEARS have been raised over Minehead Community Hospital’s long-term future as health bosses try to save costs and provide more care ‘closer to home’.

Although there are no immediate plans to close any of the 13 community hospitals across the county, the idea has not been ruled out.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, from the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for the NHS budget in the county, told the BBC the closure of community hospitals was “possible”.

She added: “We have a changing age group of patients in Somerset and we need to make sure that patients with long-term conditions and the frail elderly get the best care they can and best support in the community and that may mean we need to use resources in a different way.”

The possibility arises as the Somerset CCG looks at ways of making ‘cost efficiency savings’ over the next five years.

Paul Courtney, NHS communications manager, said: “Somerset CCG has always been financially balanced and although it is still getting extra money each year from the government, it is not enough to stay ahead of patient demand for services."

At the beginning of May, health bosses reopened Minehead Hospital’s Minor Injury Unit overnight after a temporary closure which was due to last until August.

The decision followed a public campaign to get the unit reopened.

Cllr Mandy Chilcott said: “When your community is like ours and your nearest district hospital is an hour away then the community hospital is vital.

“If plans were made to close the hospital then I and the community would rally together to make sure it wouldn’t happen.

“We have demonstrated very recently that we will do whatever it takes to get the best for Minehead.”

An interim report which went to Somerset CCG in February revealed that at certain times, only 74% of beds in the 13 hospitals were in use.

Although the report did not discuss or recommend closing any of the hospitals or shutting beds, it invited discussion about community health services.

This is in response to an anticipated rise in the number of elderly people in the county over the next ten years, many of whom will be living with long-term conditions.

The report also said that 45% of patients would be better cared for at home or in a residential facility.

Mr Courtney added: “Services have to change as we find ways to cope with patient demand.

“One of the main reasons many elderly people end up in community hospitals is because of falling over at home.

“They might be managing well but after the fall and a stay in hospital, they can lose their independence and become fearful.

“What we’re trying to do is stop them needing to come into hospital in the first place by providing care in the community.”

Health bosses are now discussing plans with communities to find out their views on the report.

  • Would you prefer to receive care at home if it was just as safe as being in hospital? Comment below or email your views to danielle.morris@nqsw.co.uk

Comments (10)

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10:21pm Thu 29 May 14

cliverita says...

At home please
At home please cliverita
  • Score: 1

10:08am Fri 30 May 14

Samej1 says...

And a day on, the chief of the NHS blows this story out of the water...
"New NHS chief Simon Stevens backs more local hospitals"
And a day on, the chief of the NHS blows this story out of the water... "New NHS chief Simon Stevens backs more local hospitals" Samej1
  • Score: 4

11:26am Fri 30 May 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

"Cllr Mandy Chilcott said: “When your community is like ours and your nearest district hospital is an hour away then the community hospital is vital.

“If plans were made to close the hospital then I and the community would rally together to make sure it wouldn’t happen.

“We have demonstrated very recently that we will do whatever it takes to get the best for Minehead.”"

Tory Cllr Chilcott and her party are the cause of the problem, not the solution. Her disingenuous claim to 'defend the NHS' (or more precisely just the community hospitals that serve the Minehead area, it should be noted) is, quite simply a cruel and hollow deception.

Cllr Chilcott's Con-Dems are destroying our NHS. Alongside cutting 5,000 jobs, their privatisation drive threatens the very existence of a national health service. Health union Unison warns that the government is planning to privatise 30 hospitals driven into 'financial difficulties' through cuts, profiteering pharmaceutical companies and rip-off PFI schemes. The Mirror revealed in February that private health firms with Tory links have been awarded contracts worth nearly £1.5 billion. Prominent among them is Care UK. But while the Tories promote these blood-sucking parasites, workers are fighting them. This speech was made by a striking Doncaster Care UK worker at the miners' strike 30th anniversary rally in Edlington, Doncaster on 5 April.

"I'm proud to say I was born in Edlo. I was a teenager in the miners' strike and I can remember the hardship a lot of people suffered because of it. But I also remember how everyone stuck together and looked out for each other. It's things like that that makes me proud to be part of this today.

Just as the mining community fought Thatcherism against pit closures, we long-time NHS employees are standing up against the privatisation of the NHS. Unfortunately for us who care for people with learning disabilities it is already too late. The contract was up for tender and the mainly Labour council awarded the contract to the inappropriately named company Care UK. Shame on Doncaster council!

Within just a few weeks of taking the contract over, they informed us that for the contract to be sustainable, reductions in our terms and conditions would have to be made. For some of us this would mean losing £500 a month, £6,000 a year, so some are facing losing their homes.

What this company has neglected to make public is that a substantial part of their budget goes straight to their shareholders in profit. Can't pay their staff, but can pay their shareholders!

These people are not just making profit off of us workers but are making profit off of the most vulnerable people in our society, our service users. This is shameful in any civilised society.

We have been striking and will return to the picket line, standing united. We are doing this with a heavy heart but we are resolute that what we are doing is morally the right thing to do.

The support we have had from the unions and other affiliations and the general public has been overwhelming, and all recognise we are fighting against the greed of those profiteering capitalists who have no conscience whatsoever.

What we haven't had is any recognition from any of our local MPs. No acknowledgment of our plight. . The leader of the Opposition, Doncaster MP Ed Miliband, has not uttered a word of support.

Shame on them!"

Don't just get angry - get organised!

www.tusc.org.uk

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
"Cllr Mandy Chilcott said: “When your community is like ours and your nearest district hospital is an hour away then the community hospital is vital. “If plans were made to close the hospital then I and the community would rally together to make sure it wouldn’t happen. “We have demonstrated very recently that we will do whatever it takes to get the best for Minehead.”" Tory Cllr Chilcott and her party are the cause of the problem, not the solution. Her disingenuous claim to 'defend the NHS' (or more precisely just the community hospitals that serve the Minehead area, it should be noted) is, quite simply a cruel and hollow deception. Cllr Chilcott's Con-Dems are destroying our NHS. Alongside cutting 5,000 jobs, their privatisation drive threatens the very existence of a national health service. Health union Unison warns that the government is planning to privatise 30 hospitals driven into 'financial difficulties' through cuts, profiteering pharmaceutical companies and rip-off PFI schemes. The Mirror revealed in February that private health firms with Tory links have been awarded contracts worth nearly £1.5 billion. Prominent among them is Care UK. But while the Tories promote these blood-sucking parasites, workers are fighting them. This speech was made by a striking Doncaster Care UK worker at the miners' strike 30th anniversary rally in Edlington, Doncaster on 5 April. "I'm proud to say I was born in Edlo. I was a teenager in the miners' strike and I can remember the hardship a lot of people suffered because of it. But I also remember how everyone stuck together and looked out for each other. It's things like that that makes me proud to be part of this today. Just as the mining community fought Thatcherism against pit closures, we long-time NHS employees are standing up against the privatisation of the NHS. Unfortunately for us who care for people with learning disabilities it is already too late. The contract was up for tender and the mainly Labour council awarded the contract to the inappropriately named company Care UK. Shame on Doncaster council! Within just a few weeks of taking the contract over, they informed us that for the contract to be sustainable, reductions in our terms and conditions would have to be made. For some of us this would mean losing £500 a month, £6,000 a year, so some are facing losing their homes. What this company has neglected to make public is that a substantial part of their budget goes straight to their shareholders in profit. Can't pay their staff, but can pay their shareholders! These people are not just making profit off of us workers but are making profit off of the most vulnerable people in our society, our service users. This is shameful in any civilised society. We have been striking and will return to the picket line, standing united. We are doing this with a heavy heart but we are resolute that what we are doing is morally the right thing to do. The support we have had from the unions and other affiliations and the general public has been overwhelming, and all recognise we are fighting against the greed of those profiteering capitalists who have no conscience whatsoever. What we haven't had is any recognition from any of our local MPs. No acknowledgment of our plight. [Doncaster Labour MP Caroline Flint was in the crowd]. The leader of the Opposition, Doncaster MP Ed Miliband, has not uttered a word of support. Shame on them!" Don't just get angry - get organised! www.tusc.org.uk www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
  • Score: -7

12:00pm Fri 30 May 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

In their attempts to destroy the NHS the government has established local organisations under the guise of local accountability.

In reality these bodies are part and parcel of the privatisation and fragmentation agenda.

The most important are the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They exist in every locality, are responsible for spending about 80% of the national NHS budget, comprise of local GPs and commission most NHS services.

It is they that are responsible for outsourcing medical services to private providers.

For example in Bracknell, when the NHS Minor Injuries Unit closed at Heatherwood Hospital, it was the CCG that commissioned a private provider to replace it.

Sometimes there could be a clear conflict of interest with GPs both commissioning services and being themselves providers of private services.

Another body is the Healthwatch (HW), which is meant to be the local independent, health watchdog on behalf of patients.

It is neither independent nor democratic. It is funded by the government via the local authority, although the money is not ring-fenced.

HW is commissioned by the local authority although the latter is responsible for public health, a clear conflict of interest.

In Bracknell the HW is supportive of all the government's reforms, including privatisation of dementia services.

In fact they castigated campaigners for demonstrating against the privatisation. So the people of bracknell launched Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch, which is democratic, accountable and fights against NHS privatisation and calls for openness and transparency in the NHS.

They recently organised a survey asking people what they know about these bodies. Early indications are that most people have never heard about them, yet they are the organisations running the NHS at a local level.

Mobilising the trade unions nationally to fight the government privatisation of the NHS is vital, but it is also important to build local struggles.

Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch have built a united front against the government policies, involving trade unionists, pensioners, anti-cuts campaigners, political activists and patients.

Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch think that to defeat the government we must first understand their strategy. While the local NHS bosses do not like us they have learned to respect us, after all we obtained 25,000 names opposing closure of our local hospital and they were forced to back off.

For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
In their attempts to destroy the NHS the government has established local organisations under the guise of local accountability. In reality these bodies are part and parcel of the privatisation and fragmentation agenda. The most important are the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They exist in every locality, are responsible for spending about 80% of the national NHS budget, comprise of local GPs and commission most NHS services. It is they that are responsible for outsourcing medical services to private providers. For example in Bracknell, when the NHS Minor Injuries Unit closed at Heatherwood Hospital, it was the CCG that commissioned a private provider to replace it. Sometimes there could be a clear conflict of interest with GPs both commissioning services and being themselves providers of private services. Another body is the Healthwatch (HW), which is meant to be the local independent, health watchdog on behalf of patients. It is neither independent nor democratic. It is funded by the government via the local authority, although the money is not ring-fenced. HW is commissioned by the local authority although the latter is responsible for public health, a clear conflict of interest. In Bracknell the HW is supportive of all the government's reforms, including privatisation of dementia services. In fact they castigated campaigners for demonstrating against the privatisation. So the people of bracknell launched Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch, which is democratic, accountable and fights against NHS privatisation and calls for openness and transparency in the NHS. They recently organised a survey asking people what they know about these bodies. Early indications are that most people have never heard about them, yet they are the organisations running the NHS at a local level. Mobilising the trade unions nationally to fight the government privatisation of the NHS is vital, but it is also important to build local struggles. Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch have built a united front against the government policies, involving trade unionists, pensioners, anti-cuts campaigners, political activists and patients. Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch think that to defeat the government we must first understand their strategy. While the local NHS bosses do not like us they have learned to respect us, after all we obtained 25,000 names opposing closure of our local hospital and they were forced to back off. For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
  • Score: -4

11:57am Sat 31 May 14

ladybird14 says...

minehead hospital a waste of money it doesn't even take minor a&e
minehead hospital a waste of money it doesn't even take minor a&e ladybird14
  • Score: -6

12:21pm Sat 31 May 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

Samej1 wrote:
And a day on, the chief of the NHS blows this story out of the water...
"New NHS chief Simon Stevens backs more local hospitals"
Very good point Samej1!

;)
[quote][p][bold]Samej1[/bold] wrote: And a day on, the chief of the NHS blows this story out of the water... "New NHS chief Simon Stevens backs more local hospitals"[/p][/quote]Very good point Samej1! ;) SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
  • Score: 1

6:20pm Sat 31 May 14

Han6552 says...

Get rid of all the overpaid "Managers" and employ more nurses. Oh and it's much safer to receive care at your home - the unsafest place to be is in a Hospital but I expect they will fiddle these figures by saying that x% of people would prefer to be treated at home therefore let's close the hospitals!!!
Get rid of all the overpaid "Managers" and employ more nurses. Oh and it's much safer to receive care at your home - the unsafest place to be is in a Hospital but I expect they will fiddle these figures by saying that x% of people would prefer to be treated at home therefore let's close the hospitals!!! Han6552
  • Score: -3

9:23pm Sat 31 May 14

somersetvoyager says...

And next week, exclusively in the Gazette, more things that there are no immediate plans to do, more decisions that haven't been ruled out, and maybe another report released that did not discuss or recommend anything. Oh and more misleading headlines designed to get clicks.
And next week, exclusively in the Gazette, more things that there are no immediate plans to do, more decisions that haven't been ruled out, and maybe another report released that did not discuss or recommend anything. Oh and more misleading headlines designed to get clicks. somersetvoyager
  • Score: 5

10:37am Sun 1 Jun 14

Freetalk says...

Minehead Hospital is a waste of time been there twice, twice had to go MPH as they couldn't deal with minor injury.
Minehead Hospital is a waste of time been there twice, twice had to go MPH as they couldn't deal with minor injury. Freetalk
  • Score: -7

10:05am Thu 5 Jun 14

Freespeech?. says...

I went there once for a problem with one of my vegetables. They treated me very well.
I went there once for a problem with one of my vegetables. They treated me very well. Freespeech?.
  • Score: 0

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