ACTIONS to address the region’s bed-based intermediate care needs were agreed at today’s meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board (IJB).
Members agreed a flexible model for some beds in settings such as care homes, along with proposals to work with communities on plans for how facilities, such as cottage hospitals, will play a role in meeting health and social care needs in the future.
IJB chairman Andy McFarlane said: “As we plan for the future, it is very clear that we face a massive challenge in meeting the increasingly complex needs of our population.
“Continuing with the existing approach to bed-based care which sits between the two acute hospitals and people are able to manage independently in their own home is not going to work.
“We know we have to adapt, and make strategic use of all our available resources in order to provide the treatment and care our population will require over the next 15 to 20 years.
“I’m very pleased, therefore, that the report which came to the IJB today provides us with the best way forward, working together with our communities to develop an approach that best meets their needs.”
The Right Care, Right Place report results from extensive community engagement earlier in the year which was then followed by 12 weeks of formal public consultation in the summer focused on four areas:
- The findings of the Right Care, Right Place: Intermediate Care engagement programme earlier in the year
- A description of how intermediate care is delivered, and the forecast of what will be required in future
- The proposal to introduce a flexible approach to intermediate care, to allow bed capacity to be allocated to different roles depending on demand
- Ideas on how intermediate care should be delivered in each local area, over three timescales – 1-2 years, 5 years and 10-15 years
Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation David Rowland said: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone who took part in Right Care, Right Place.
“During the consultation we heard a strong and clear message from people across the region that they want to see bed-based palliative and end of life care delivered within their local communities as a matter of priority and that we also need to make provision for local step-up and step-down care.
“The approach agreed at IJB today means we can start implementing a flexible approach to bed usage.
“We will now be working closely with local care home owners to support them to expand capacity to deliver bed-based intermediate care within local communities.
“We will also now be looking to build on the conversations we have had throughout this year and will be sitting down with local communities to start planning how we make best use of our wider facilities to meet their health and social care needs in the medium and longer-term.
“As always, we need to undertake this work with our communities with a mutual appreciation and recognition that we don’t have boundless resources, and that within Dumfries and Galloway, as nationally, we face major challenges in areas such as finance and recruiting to vacant posts.
“As the Right Care, Right Place consultation set out, we believe that key to meeting this increasing and increasingly complex need is flexibility – both in the way our care provider organisations are structured and positioned to deliver care, and also in the way that our populations adapt to ensure that finite resources are employed as effectively as possible, and that we all work to support each other as members of our communities.”