BHT statement re future of Buckingham Hospital
Dr Tina Kenny, medical director at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust says:
“We would like to reassure people that we have made no decisions nor developed plans relating to the beds at Buckingham Community Hospital.
Our aim in developing community hubs has been to provide more local care to people in the community. This is based on what we’ve consistently heard from patients, who have told us that they wish to be supported to remain more independent and to stay out of hospital if at all possible. Through the two pilots currently taking place in Marlow and Thame, we have introduced a new assessment and treatment service, including a frailty assessment service where geriatricians, nurses, therapists and GPs provide expert assessment, undertake tests and agree a treatment plan to help frail older people to stay at home and avoid an A&E visit or hospital admission. This includes working with our community nursing and therapy teams who support people at home, more local outpatients clinics such as chemotherapy, and we are working closely with the voluntary sector.
Feedback about the community hubs pilot from patients and stakeholders, including representatives from Marlow and Thame Community Hospitals’ League of Friends and patient participation groups of local GP practices, has been positive. Throughout the pilot the hospital spaces were used primarily for the assessment service, enabling healthcare staff to see twice the number of people the hospital wards were previously supporting through inpatient facilities. Whilst we haven’t been using the inpatient beds at Thame and Marlow, beds were available locally, but they haven’t been needed. Furthermore, the hubs are being used far more by local people from the Thame and Marlow areas than before the pilot began.
We held a public engagement event in Buckingham earlier this year, attended by almost 60 people. Feedback from the group stated that they would welcome the development of a community hub tailored to local needs, and we have agreed to continue to work with staff, patients, GPs and local communities to discuss and design what type of hub would best meet those needs.