A STRONG desire to see bed-based intermediate care delivered in the heart of local communities emerged from a major piece of public engagement.
Building on the feedback received, a period of formal consultation is now set to be launched by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership – focused on how to best deliver, as close to local communities as possible, the help people receive between an acute hospital setting and what they are able to manage at home, either independently or with support.
Key to this is a proposed flexible approach to bed-based intermediate care. This could see a proportion of bed capacity within settings reallocated to different roles, such as palliative or ‘step-down’ care – helping to meet a variety of need in the heart of local communities.
Introducing the consultation which will run from April 14 until July 7, Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation David Rowland said: “We had a fantastic response to our Right Place, Right Care: Intermediate Care engagement, with people right across the region coming forward to share their thoughts and experiences.
“Bed-based intermediate care takes in everything from care homes to cottage hospitals, extra care housing and short breaks providing respite, and recognises the importance of care and support at home.
“We need to develop approaches aimed at best meeting the healthcare needs of the local population where these cannot be met at home but do not require the services of a district general hospital.
“It’s an area set to play an important role within our region over coming years, and so it has been very important to get people’s input to help inform and shape our approaches.”
Key outcomes from this work is –
- Initial modelling which sets out the capacity believed to be needed in each location in years to come.
- Proposed discussion around facilities which either currently play a role or which could in the future.
- The proposal of a flexible approach to the use of beds.
Mr Rowland clarifies that, within the flexible approach, each bed would continue to have a set use.
However, the beds within any facility might not all serve the same purpose – with different ongoing roles for different beds, informed by local need.
Mr Rowland said: “What we are talking about is using the total capacity more flexibly. With care homes, for example, it’s the idea that – as beds become available or extra beds are added by care home owners – a small number could be allocated for palliative care, step up or step down care, but while ensuring residential need is being properly met.
“We are preparing to take these proposals for public consultation, along with the modelling we will be basing our planning around. We have also identified facilities which either currently contribute to the intermediate care bed-base right now or which could over coming years, and which we want to discuss with the local communities.
“It’s very important that everyone is aware of the public consultation taking place from April 14 2023 until July 7 2023, and that they are encouraged and supported to have their say.”
Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer Julie White has also voiced the call for everyone to participate in the consultation, and to help promote the opportunity to others.
Ms White said: “The contribution everyone has made to the development of this work through the engagement activity has been invaluable.
“It’s vitally important that everyone now has the opportunity to review and understand what has emerged from this work, and has the opportunity to provide their response.
“A core principle of Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership is to deliver services right into the heart of communities, and so it was heartening that this was reflected very prominently in what people were saying.
“I’d encourage everyone to note how they can participate in the consultation process, to take part, and to help others to do the same.”
A calendar of in-person engagement events has been scheduled between 21 April 2023 and 7 July 2023, and this is set out as follows:
21 April at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Lockerbie Town Hall
24 April at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Virtual
27 April at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Castle Douglas Town Hall
03 May at 12 pm to 2 pm – St Ninian’s Centre, Isle of Whithorn
03 May at 3 pm – 6 pm – Whithorn, venue TBC
05 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – The Usual Place, Dumfries
16 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Moffat Town Hall
22 May at 1.30pm to 5.30pm – Thornhill Community Centre
24 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Buccleuch Centre, Langholm
29 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Parish Church, Kirkcudbright
01 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Richard Greenhow Centre, Gretna
06 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – McMillan Hall, Newton Stewart
09 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Dalbeattie Town Hall
12 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Corner House Hotel, Annan
22 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Sanquhar Community Centre
03 July at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Stranraer Millennium Centre
Anyone who requires assistance to attend or who wishes to attend the virtual meeting on 24 April is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on events is hosted on a dedicated web-page, which will also host all the consultation materials and the consultation document itself.
The web-page is www.dghscp.co.uk/rcrp-consultation
The consultation document can be completed online, can be completed in person at any of the events, or taken away and returned by July 7 2023 by emailing to email@example.com or by post to Communications Team, DGRI, A75, Cargenbridge, DG2 8RX.