Last month we told you how across the country health and social care are working more closely together to provide better, more joined up services. This month you can read what this means for Buckinghamshire.
In April 2017 Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust began to introduce ways to provide care to the community. Bringing these services closer together offers an opportunity to redesign them to meet the needs of all of us who use them and to make best use of the available resources in each area. It’s investing more than £1m to expand community services.
The Trust aims to double the number of outpatient appointments at some community hospitals and provide support to bridge the gap between home and hospital. The plan also aims to reduce hospital admissions through a new community-based frailty assessment service, which is now available at both Marlow and Thame hospitals. These are the first community hubs and have been set up as pilot schemes.
At each of these hubs, consultants, nurses and therapists offer a wide range of outpatient services such as general surgery, chemotherapy, speech therapy, podiatry and dental services. The pilot tests in Marlow and Thame, which began last year are continuing into 2018 and will help shape the way community hubs develop across the county.
In January and February 2018, the Trust held six meetings across the county for people to have their say about the plans to bring care closer to home. At the meetings the Trust shared progress on the pilot community hubs, and heard the public’s views on plans for rolling out care closer to home in other parts of the county.
Healthwatch Bucks attended all six events to understand patient views and produced a report on what happened, what worked well and what could be improved. We shared this report with those responsible for the changes. You can read the report below.
In our next article, we’ll tell you more about these public meetings. In the meantime, we’d like to hear your views. If you have been one of the pilot hubs at Marlow or Thame or you have a view on health and social care services in your area, please let us know. You can give us a call, send us an email or provide your feedback below.