The Saltash community services project covers the 3 GP surgeries, which have a registered population of 23,600 people
St Barnabas Community Hospital is owned by NHS Property Services
, and leased to Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
(CFT), which provides adult community services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The hospital’s minor injury unit (MIU) closed in December 2016 to focus staff onto the inpatient wards. The unit was staffed by nurses from the ward. There were 455 attendances at the MIU in the 12 months before it closed. In February 2017 the inpatient beds were temporarily closed to support safe staffing levels at Liskeard Hospital. In the previous 12 months, 209 people were admitted to an inpatient bed at St Barnabas.
What’s happened since?
The NHS has been meeting regularly with a group of local people which includes Cornwall Council and town councillors, patient representatives, GPs, the League of Friends and other NHS organisations. Together they have been looking at the needs of the community and how services can respond to those needs. These meetings are continuing.
Relocation of community teams
Last summer a number of community teams including health visitors, school nurses and speech and language therapists moved into St Barnabas. Some had previously been located in the GP surgery. This allowed some development work to be undertaken at the surgery. This means that there are more than 70 staff members from across children’s and adult’s community teams who are working from St Barnabas Hospital. That has helped to improve communications and coordination of care across teams and organisations. Regular clinics continue to be run at St Barnabas-both community clinics such as physiotherapy and respiratory, as well as consultant-led clinics from University Hospital Plymouth.
What’s happening now?
In October, 2017, more than 719 years of community experience were brought together at a workshop in Saltash Guildhall. This involved the NHS, charities and voluntary organisations. The aim was to:
- offer staff an opportunity to hear about each other’s work
- build on developing positive working relationships to promote improved communication
- coordination of care across teams and services
The event was used to discuss examples of individuals who had complex care needs to consider. As well as how working differently and creating broader solutions in the wider community may help to deliver improved care and support.
There was a huge amount of positive feedback from the event. Especially in terms of networking and widening knowledge of the wealth of organisations available locally who can support people with physical, emotional and social needs.
Drop-in sessions were held in Saltash to give people an opportunity to:
- air their views
- learn more about the work to review the community services provision in the area
- learn what this could mean for the future of St Barnabas Community Hospital
The sessions were held on:
- 8 October 2019 at Saltash Guildhall
- 17 March 2019 at the Saltash Leisure Centre
The sessions were held as apart of ongoing engagement work. They provided opportunities for people to come to talk about the engagement work completed so far. We listened to people’s varied views about the health and care services provided across Saltash and what was important to them. It was valuable to hold these events to meet people who had not yet had an opportunity to attend a community workshop.
Public attendees: 19 in total.
The key themes raised by attendees:
- ensuring there is adequate public transport to services; the current bus route to Derriford takes 1.5 hours each way
- lack of adequate public transport increases the risk of inappropriate ambulance call out
- possible integration of services where possible on the same site such as GP services, minor injury services, voluntary sector and pharmacy
- some expressed a preference for a more modern facility
- there was recognition that healthcare funding limited and that money needed to be spent wisely
- there were some views that the hospital did not meet the health and care needs of people in the 21st century
- there was some disappointment that the hospital was still closed
- there was a desire to explore the possibility of the community using parts of the building if it was not re-instated as a community hospital
- importance of retaining any money from disposal of the building in the local area
- access to the building, both in terms of parking and then gaining access if in a wheelchair is a challenge
- consider how this feeds into the local development plans and the impact of new housing developments
All of these issues will be considered throughout the engagement and decision making process.