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More resources for Warminster Hospital

(May 15, 2011)
THERE'S some good news for Warminster Hospital at last - though there's no cause to get too over excited about what is happening.
It seems that health chiefs  have been looking at the patterns of after hours useage across the county after 12 months of service and noticed that the after hours service in Warminster is much more intensively used than the service provided at Amesbury.
In their  health speak language they have said 'ongoing detailed
weekly analysis of activity and performance demonstrates that some service areas are challenged.
'There is a degree of demand / capacity mismatch in the service design.'
In other words Warminster is much busier than expected and Amesbury less so.
To remedy this Amesbury will be closed and the resources there diverted to Warminster and Salisbury Hospitals - which should improve services here.
''I'm not surprised they have found this as Amesbury and Warminster areas have very different demographics which would suggest a much greater need in Warminster,'' said former county councillor Steve Dancey.
''I could have told them that for nothing - but most of the people they hire in to run things seem to come from Yorkshire or Scotland and don't know this area at all - which is a bit like the county council these day!
''Amazingly many old people seem to think it is a good idea to settle in Warminster and retire when the nearest district general hospitals are well over 20 miles away and health services here are over stretched.
''Services are supposed to be far better organised in Somerset - to that's where I'll retire to not out on an over-streched limb like Warminster.
''But this has to be good news as the underemployment of Warminster Hospital and the closure of so many others nearby is nothing short of a health crime - so to any addition resources I'd say 'Yes Please'.''


In April 2009, NHS Wiltshire commenced an Urgent Care procurement exercise,
the key objectives of which were for the provision of a Wiltshire-wide Single Point
of Access and an integrated Out of Hours medical and dental service. As a result
of this process, Wiltshire Medical Services (WMS) was awarded an APMS
contract which commenced on 1 April, 2010.
Locations from which clinical services are currently provided include:
• Chippenham Community Hospital
• Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
• Savernake Community Hospital
• Amesbury Health Centre
• Salisbury Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
• Warminster Community Hospital
• Trowbridge Community Hospital
There is also an agreement in place with the South West Ambulance Service
NHS Trust which enables patients living in the far South West of the county to be
seen at the Westminster Hospital in Shaftesbury.
This model of service delivery has now been operational for twelve months and is
generally considered to be providing a good service. However, ongoing detailed
weekly analysis of activity and performance demonstrates that some service
areas are challenged. There is a degree of demand / capacity mismatch in the
service design. WMS has been working closely with NHS Wiltshire to address
this issue and identify a preferred solution. A number of possible areas of
reconfiguration have been reviewed ensuring due regard to ‘Accessibility,
Quality, Value for Money, Integration, Risk and Workforce’.
WMS is now in a position to share its preferred proposal with stakeholders and
has already begun a formal consultation process with staff.
Agenda Item 12
Page 43
The preferred solution includes:
• Closing Amesbury as a clinical base and redistributing this resource
between Salisbury Foundation Trust and Warminster
• Moving the current call centre facility from Amesbury to Salisbury
• Relocating the base from the Great Western Hospital to Savernake;
patients can still be seen at Swindon if necessary
• Services at Chippenham and Trowbridge will remain largely unchanged,
with additional support from presences at Warminster and Savernake
• Patients can still be seen in Shaftesbury where appropriate
This proposal is intended to enhance services in a number of areas and will
provide best value for money. It is anticipated that subject to successful
consultation, changes to clinical services will be implemented in July 2011.
The proposal has been circulated to WMS stakeholders, including:
• South Western Ambulance Service
• Great Western Ambulance Service
• Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership
• Wiltshire Equitable Access Centre
• NHS South West
• Local Medical Committee
• Local Dental Committee
• Local Pharmaceutical Committee
Comments or requests for further information about any of the detail contained
within the proposal are very welcome and can be directed to Wiltshire Medical
Michelle Reader
Director of Quality and Performance
Wiltshire Medical Services
Transforming Community Services
At the time of writing, NHS Wiltshire does not yet know the results of Monitor’s
consideration of plans for the integration of Wiltshire Community Health Services
and Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Matters remain under
investigation by Monitor and a verbal update will be provided at the HASCSC
meeting on 19th May 2011.
Page 44
NHS Reforms – the Health and Social Care Bill 2011
In February 2011 Parliament began to consider the Health and Social Care Bill,
which sets out the reforms proposed in the coalition Government’s White Paper,
“Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS”. All parts of the health service are
required to work across organisational boundaries to respond to the changes set
out in the Bill, whilst ensuring that service, quality and financial performance are
maintained and improved during a time of change.
The Health Select Committee has made 50 recommendations regarding the
Health and Social Care Bill. As a result, in April 2011 the Government
announced a ‘pause’ to the Bill’s passage through the House of Commons and
launched a national ‘listening exercise’, headed by a new group of patient
representatives, doctors and nurses and NHS leaders, known as the NHS Future
Forum. The Future Forum will channel the thoughts and opinions of those with
whom it consults and feed opinion back to Government. The engagement
process will focus on:
• Choice and competition
• Patient involvement and patient accountability
• Clinical advice and leadership
• Education and training
Feedback from the ‘listening exercise’ is expected to be released in June 2011.
In addition, in early May 2011 the Prime Minister’s office established it’s own
panel of senior health policy experts to discuss health policy and reform in a
separate exercise to that of the NHS Future Forum.
In the meantime NHS commissioners are required to continue working to the
recommended timetable set out for the reform and development of
commissioning duties, as roles pass from Primary Care Trusts to GP
Commissioning Consortia.
Since the national picture is currently so fluid, it is recommended that NHS
Wiltshire provides a further report on any developments to the Health & Adult
Social Care Select Committee at the next meeting.

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