CCG Governing Body Endorse New Clinical Model for Townlands But Require Further Assurances

Artist's impression of the new Townlands hospitalOxfordshire CCG Governing Body at their Board Meeting today (30 July) approved a recommendation to endorse the clinical model proposed for the new Townlands Hospital in Henley on Thames but has asked for further assurances to be made before a final decision can be made in September.

It has given its support to the provision of existing services, additional outpatient and diagnostic facilities and the introduction of a new ambulatory care model, the Rapid Access Care Unit (also known as the RACU); but has asked that further work is carried out to give the Governing Body full assurance on a number areas raised as part of the consultation. These include transition plans, staffing arrangements, the proposals for step up and step down beds and clinical engagement. Furthermore, it has asked that the CCG takes the opportunity for further engagement with stakeholders in developing the responses to these issues.

The ambulatory care model proposed would see the introduction of a Rapid Access Care Unit (RACU) at the new Townlands Hospital. The unit would provide a next day service led by a consultant and a team of health and social care professionals including community nurses, physiotherapy and occupational therapy practitioners, social care staff, mental health staff and hospital clinicians. They stated that the service would now be open seven days a week (8am-8pm) with consultant led clinics Monday to Saturday mornings.

The RACU would provide assessment and treatment of patients with a crisis or deterioration in their health or long term condition – including patients with complex medical, social and/or mental health needs. The service would offer a next day clinic so that patients could be assessed by a consultant and then, if needed could receive diagnostic tests or treatments such as blood transfusions and intravenous antibiotics all on the same day.

A patient who has attended the RACU may be discharged and continue to be treated in their own home or admitted to a step up bed at the Order of St John on the health campus which isn’t due to be open until April 2016, 5 months after the hospital is due to open in November.

Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Vice Chair of the Townlands Steering Group said, “The CCG went for their Option 3, which continues their direction of travel with more consultation.  So, from the TSG perspective there has been no change and not concession to the concerns expressed by the prospective users of the facilities.  There was a wide ranging debate – filmed by the CCG – about the current and future medical provisions generally, and how Townlands fitted into this.  But there was no clear and unanimous view expressed.  The building is soon to be completed, and now is the time to have a clear vision as this facility will be with us long into the future.  Whilst there is much to welcome in the new Townlands by was of a 7 day RACU, Minor Injuries Unit, more consulting rooms, outreach by the Royal Berks, the issue revolves around where beds go, and how many are needed in Henley.  Which is still at an impasse.  However, although the issue has not been resolved, we welcome the further consultations promised by the CCG as we wish to continue to work with them.”

Dr Andrew Burnett, Clinical Director for the South East Locality at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:  ‘We welcome the Governing Body’s endorsement of the new model of care and the Rapid Access Care Unit. At the same time, it is clear to us that we have further work to do and accept the Governing Body’s request for further detail before it can make its final decision.’

The full consultation report is now available on the consultation site, and links to the documents are below:

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