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MP reacts to decision over intermediate care
Friday 2nd February 2018 @ 10:15 by Nigel Skinner
Glossop Chronicle News

The fight to save Shire Hill Hospital by thousands of Glossopdale people looks to have ended in defeat.

NHS Tameside and Glossop Strategic Commission Board’s meeting on Tuesday decided to support a recommendation which puts the future of the town’s only hospital in doubt.

It was the Clinical Commissioning Group’s preferred Option 2 which will see intermediate care beds at Shire Hill relocated to the Stamford Unit adjacent to Tameside Hospital in Ashton.

In light of the concerns raised by Glossopdale residents during the consultation on the future of Shire Hill, eight beds will be purchased from providers in the Glossopdale area subject to them reaching the required quality standards.

The board also resolved to  commission  the  maximum  appropriate  health  and  social service provision from the Glossop Primary Care Centre on George Street.

They also agreed that the full implementation of transferring all beds to the Stamford Unit will not be until such time as suitable home services are in place across Glossopdale.

In terms of what this means for the Shire Hill Hospital site the board say it is owned by the NHS property company and that any decision on it will be made by them.

Speaking after attending the meeting, Cllr Anthony Mckeown said: “The decision will be an unwelcome one for the many residents of Glossopdale who have campaigned since the announcement of this consultation against the removal of services from Shire Hill Hospital.

“While this decision may seem like our concerns have been ignored, the proposals have been changed in response to some of the issues raised with the decision to arrange eight beds for patients in Glossopdale and delays to the changes in appropriate services are in place.

“While there is still a need to investigate any options left to retain services at Shire Hill, there is now also the reality that we need to ensure robust arrangements are put in place to ensure the right services are put in place before any change.”


REACTION: Ruth George MP.

High Peak MP Ruth George said: “I am much saddened by the decision to close Shire Hill Hospital in spite of overwhelming support from Glossopdale for our hospital, and a sound alternative proposal put forward which I was supporting.

“We have seen a huge winter bed crisis, with Tameside Hospital full and a waiting list for Shire Hill, which is preventing urgent care beds from being vacated.  Now is not the time to be closing specialist rehabilitation centres like Shire Hill.

“I believe that there are serious problems with the decision that has been taken – the Board has not suggested where the eight beds they propose for Glossopdale will be based, nor how they will reach the required standard for patients who have been transferred from acute care, but I will work with the Board on this.

“I will also be monitoring the standard of home care very carefully – the Board has admitted it is not up to standard, and with an acute staffing shortage it is hard to see how this will be achieved in the near future, but I will hold the Board to their commitment not to shut Shire Hill until that standard is reached.

“I am pleased that George Street clinic will be used properly, but I will also fight to see the Shire Hill site developed for health care for the people of Glossopdale as we are only going to see the demand for healthcare increasing.

“I pay tribute to the hard work and campaigning of the staff of Shire Hill and local residents who submitted more than 1,000 consultation responses and 5,000 signatures on a petition to show how much we value Shire Hill.

“It was an amazing effort that shows true community spirit and care for the frail people who need Shire Hill. That spirit will stand us in good stead as we continue to campaign for better healthcare in Glossopdale.”

Alan Dow, Chair of NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG and SCB, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the committee and engagement work to inform this decision. We believe we have made the right decision to improve Intermediate Care for the people of Tameside and Glossop while addressing Glossop residents’ concerns.”

Intermediate Care is for patients, usually older people, after leaving hospital or when they are at risk of being sent to hospital.

The Intermediate Care beds are already, and will continue to be, run by Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

The purpose-built Stamford Unit offers single room en-suite accommodation, communal space for social interaction and is close to wider services at Tameside Hospital with quicker access to emergency vehicles should patients need to be readmitted to the hospital. The Stamford Unit has been designed to be dementia friendly enabling support for vulnerable patients.

Intermediate Care includes two elements: ‘Home First’ services, which supports people in their own home or at a location in their local community, and ‘Intermediate Care beds’ for people coming out of hospital requiring a package of care which cannot be provided at home or who need a short stay away from home for support to prevent them needing admission to hospital.