West Oxfordshire District Council has said that it cannot support either of the two consultation options regarding the future provision of care beds at Chipping Norton Hospital.
The council instead supports the continuation of the current provision until such time as the consultation on the provision at Chipping Norton Hospital has taken place as part of the wider consultation that is planned for community hospital provision across the county.
Councillor James Mills, West Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet member responsible for health said, “Neither of the two options are in the best interest of residents living in the north of the District, and both local people and health professionals are concerned about the impact on the quality of provision. Already we are seeing experienced and qualified staff leaving the hospital and this is a great loss for the community.
“It is a further reduction in health care provision for people living in the north of the district as four years ago the hospital beds were changed from sub-acute to intermediate care. This has reduced the treatments that can be done locally with more and more patients having to travel to Banbury or Oxford hospitals.
“Furthermore, our increasingly ageing population in West Oxfordshire supports the need to reinstate NHS staffed sub-acute beds at Chipping Norton. Without this provision, larger hospitals are unable to transfer patients to local care after treatment, resulting in bed-blocking and the higher cost of keeping people in high intensity acute care hospitals such as the John Radcliffe or the Horton.”
The first of the two current consultation proposals being put forward by Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is to move the staff and hospital management of the fourteen intermediate care beds away from the NHS to the Orders of St John Care Trust.
The second proposal is to close the 14 care beds and provide intermediate care in patients’ homes.
Intermediate care is for people who have an illness or injury that doesn’t require them to be in an acute bed, for example in the John Radcliffe. It also acts as a bridge between more intensive care and a person returning home.