Thursday, 12 May 2016

West London hospitals set to lose 500 beds to bridge £1bn gap in budget



It is claimed the beds will not be needed once care for patients at home is increased under plans

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Hospitals in west London could lose a total of 500 beds

Hospitals in west London are set to lose 500 beds in a bid to avoid a £1bn budget gap and treat patients closer to home.
Under the North West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which has been outlined but won't be officially submitted until June, 500 "acute beds" will be lost.
The plan comes in response to NHS England chief executive Simon Steven's publication of a Five Year Forward View in 2014.
Under the publication, NHS England instructed 44 areas in the country to outline their visions of improvement for the next five years.
And one area of improvements proposed by north west London organisations, one of the 44 areas, is the axing of hospital beds.
They believe it will be beneficial because it can provide better care to patients it claims could be treated at home or in a community or GP clinic.

'Cynical cost cutting exercise'


But Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma, who last week led a debate on changes to Ealing Hospital , said: "Last year we saw a pitifully low number of people being seen within the four-hour waiting target, and with the cruel loss of a further 500 beds from local hospitals waiting times will only get worse.
"Patient safety is being put at risk in a cynical cost cutting exercise."
The measures also follow the NW London STP's claim that 30% of patients in hospital could be treated in alternative locations.
NW London STP is a group effort between Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG's), all eight council's and hospital trust's in north west London to propose the plan compromising health and social care together.
Further partner organisations include NHS Health Education NW London, West London Alliance and Imperial College Health Partners.
And leading the NW London STP is Ealing CCG boss Dr Mohini Parmar, Brent council chief executive Carolyn Downs and Imperial College Healthcare chief executive Dr Tracey Batten.
'More care closer to home'

NW London STP is not a part of Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF), a project that closed Ealing Maternity Unit and will close the children's ward at Ealing Hospital next month, but has promised to "take this to the next level and build on that progress".
One of the ways it has promised to do this is by providing more care, by liaising with local authorities, closer to people's homes to improve health and social care.
A spokesperson for the NW London STP said: "A hospital is not always the best place to treat people.
"Our ambition in NW London is to provide the right care in the right place and the NHS and local authorities are working closely together to provide more care closer to home, as well as to take advantages of developments in care that mean people don’t always require lengthy hospital stays.
"This is a long term aim and no beds would be removed from hospitals until alternative services were in place.
"If we do nothing, we estimate that there will be a £1bn financial gap in our health system."
  • 16:05, 11 MAY 2016
  • UPDATED 16:19, 11 MAY 2016
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