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Hospital beds could be cut in North Yorkshire

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11:58am 2nd August 2011

Financial pressures on the NHS could see 200 hospital beds go in North Yorkshire.

It's one of the recommendations by the Independent Review Commission.

Year on year our county needs to save between 15 to 20 million.

Statement from NHS Yorkshire and the Humber

NHS Yorkshire and the Humber has welcomed the recommendations of an independent review of health services in North Yorkshire and York today (Tuesday 2nd August 2011.)

The review was commissioned by the Strategic Health Authority (SHA), on behalf of local GPs, to present options and make recommendations on how to make the best use of resources within the North Yorkshire health economy.

There are 44 recommendations made by the review in eight key service areas such as primary care, community services and estates.

The review commission, which comprised of thirteen representatives from the NHS, local authorities, voluntary sector and opinion formers, recommended developing a model of care focused on shifting services from hospitals to the community sector as well as making efficiency savings and increasing productivity in every sector.

Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor, chair of the independent review commission, said:

“I was privileged to be invited to chair the independent commission asked to review health services in North Yorkshire and York. The people of North Yorkshire enjoy relatively good health but with the changing architecture of the NHS, the SHA was concerned that the extra support that this area has needed in the past would not be available in the future.

“The commission was therefore asked to make recommendations to future GP commissioners to ensure a sustainable financial future for North Yorkshire. To meet this challenge we feel strongly that action needs to be taken now to re-design the model of care so that patients are treated according to levels of need, to reduce hospital in-patient beds (with an increase in activity) and shift care from hospital to the community sector – as well as increasing efficiency and productivity.

“We also feel that a key factor is improving integration within primary care, so as to facilitate integration between primary care, secondary care, community services (health and social care), mental health and public health. The commission is confident that the recommendations provide the best way forward for North Yorkshire and York and would strongly urge all parties to move ahead with them.

“I would like to thank all those who contributed to the review, including the commission, the reference group, senior clinicians, managers, and local and national politicians.”

PCT Network Rural Forum comments on independent review of North Yorkshire and York health services

Commenting on the independent review of health services in North Yorkshire and York, chair of the NHS Confederation's Primary Care Trust Network Rural PCTs Forum, Karen Knapton, welcomed its recommendations and said it was important to acknowledge the unique set of challenges that rural health economies face.

She said:

"We welcome this report's analysis of the health services in North Yorkshire and York and its acknowledgment that patients in the area enjoy good health outcomes, and are served by generally good health services and a high quality workforce.

"The report's recommendation to move more services into the community so that patient care is in sync with patient need is to be welcomed. Service redesign and the introduction of new technologies, such as telehealth, will play a vital role in addressing many of the challenges of rural health economies.  Without immediate planning to transform the region's unique circumstances, health services in North Yorkshire and York will continue to face financial problems.

"The commission recognises that health systems in rural areas face a unique set of challenges, including transport problems, dispersed and ageing populations, and the ability to recruit staff. These factors need to be fully considered when commissioners are planning, designing and allocating funding for NHS services.

"We fully support the commission's suggestion that the Department of Health and parliament should investigate the impact of extreme rurality on health economies when considering future funding arrangements so that services can remain sustainable in the future.

"It is crucial that the new leaders of the NHS - including clinical commissioning groups, health and wellbeing boards and the NHS Commissioning Board - are equipped to address these challenges in the future. PCT clusters and CCGs need to begin work together now to ensure the corporate memory of local commissioners is not lost."

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