RESIDENTS across Dumfries and Galloway have clearly told the NHS that they want care delivered in the heart of local communities.
That was the main message from a major piece of public engagement.
And now Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership (DGHSCP) are going back out to the public to formally consult them on how to best do this, with sessions to be held regionwide.
Health bosses are proposing ‘a flexible approach to bed-based intermediate care’, which could mean beds in different settings, including cottage hospitals and care homes, used for different roles such as palliative or ‘step-down’ care.
They want to ascertain what capacity will be needed in each location around the region in years to come; and to have discussions around facilities which either currently play a role or which could in the future.
The consultation will run from April 14 until July 7 and 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.”
Mr Rowland clarified 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.
He 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.”
For more information go to www.dghscp.co.uk/rcrp-consultation, where you can also find the consultation document itself. Responses should be returned by July 7 to [email protected].