Since the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) board meeting on 30 July, the Townlands Steering Group and CCG have met several times in an attempt to reach agreement on the services in the new hospital when it opens in December.
The CCG have clarified and modified their proposals over that time, but at the meeting on 15 September they rejected TSG proposals to operate a mix of RACU service and beds in the new hospital. “We believed this was a good basis for discussion combining the CCG’s desire to meet patient need on Ambulatory Care with the community’s concerns that beds should be retained as the CCG’s proposals were incomplete and too great a risk to put in place this year” said TSG chair Cllr Ian Reissmann.
The CCG’s proposals for Ambulatory Care include: RACU (Rapid Access Care Unit), a unit which allows patients to be assessed on a next day basis, increased home care for those who need this to enable them to return home and Intermediate Care beds in the OSJ care home which allow for a short stay for those unable to return home.
“There is now clear choice for the community: we either continue to work with the CCG despite our misgivings, to improve their plan; or we take legal steps to prevent the loss of the beds from our hospital.” continued Cllr Ian Reissmann. “The CCG’s proposal has moved a long way from a 3 day RACU with 5 beds. If we take legal action the risk is that we either lose, or have to fight again in 6 months time and lose then. While we do that the CCGs proposals will be imposed without discussion. The risk of working with the CCG on their proposals is that we give up on what we believe is the best course of action” Ian Reissmann summarised. “It is not an easy choice.”
The community will have the chance to give its views at the TSG meeting on Monday 21st September in the Pither Hall United Reform Church at 7.30pm. Ian Reissmann called on the community to speak out: “I’d like as many as possible to come along and help us make this choice. If you can’t be there, please send message through other people or straight to me. “We will listen to what is said”.
TSG are still discussing with the CCG the configuration and layout of the proposed beds in the Care Home. TSG members will address the Oxfordshire Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 17 Sep. The critical decision will be on 24 September when the CCG board decides to approve the proposals for Ambulatory Care instead of beds. [Ambulatory care is medical care provided on an outpatient basis, including diagnosis, observation, consultation, treatment, intervention, and rehabilitation services. This care can include advanced medical technology and procedures even when provided outside of hospitals.]