Consultation and Public Meeting
Wed 21st October St Mary’s Church, 7-9pm doors open 6.30
As reported in this month’s Chipping Norton News, Oxfordshire County Council have officially started their public consultation, between 5 Oct and 8 December, on the future of the 14 Intermediate Care Beds currently staffed by nurses from Oxford Health NHS Trust. They are not technically in the ‘War Memorial Community Hospital’ but are based in a specially equipped adjoining building maintained by the Orders of St John Care Trust who run the Henry Cornish Care Centre next door. The County say they cannot continue with this staffing as it is too expensive and complex to manage.
The County say ‘Intermediate Care services are designed to help people, usually older people, who have an illness or injury to stay at home rather than go into hospital, and to support people to get back home as quickly as possible after a hospital stay. Intermediate Care services can be provided to people in different ways, as a bed-based service, or as a community service in people’s own homes by a team of social care and health staff.’ The County would like to hear views on their future options for providing this care in North Oxfordshire. One specific option is to have the full 14 bed service provided by staff from OSJCT, who run the care home. The County say this will not be a change of service from currently. The County Council has a contract to buy IC beds off OSJCT elsewhere. A second option is to provide more care at home, close the unit and, if beds are needed, provide them elsewhere in the County. Their proposals aim to save around £700,000 per year, when health and social care budgets are big issues. They say ‘other viable options or suggestions will be considered’.
Local Councillors, Oxfordshire Healthwatch and the Chipping Norton Hospital Action Group are raising several concerns which they will expect to hear answered in the Consultation. First, HAG say the service has been, or is being, downgraded from ‘sub-acute’ medically-led care of the kind provided previously at Chipping Norton and in all Oxfordshire’s Community Hospitals. HAG suggest OSJCT cannot provide that higher level of service. Second, there are concerns that this will leave the north of the County with little community hospital cover, nor indeed intermediate care cover, for bed care at all. Thirdly, with wider uncertainty over resources and new ‘models of care’, Chipping Norton should be included in a wider review of community hospital and intermediate care to ensure they are being treated fairly – and should not have to be given this narrow choice.
Full details of the Consultation can be found at https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/ICbeds/consultationHome or at The Guildhall. Responses from all are encouraged – online, or submitted to FREEPOST RTRX-GJUL-HXHY Engagement Team, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, OX1 1ND.
Chipping Norton News Team