Figures on health care in Dartmouth revealed

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A group of NHS and community partners met on 3 April to review progress with new ways of delivering health and care in Dartmouth, including plans for a new Health and Wellbeing Centre in the town.

Local people from several key organisations are influencing NHS plans as part of the Dartmouth Health and Wellbeing Centre Working Group.

More services are now available in people’s own homes and plans are underway to deliver a purpose-built new Health and Wellbeing Centre on land owned by South Hams District Council, next to the park and ride at the top of town.

The aim of the new centre is to help deliver integrated healthcare and a sustainable GP practice for people in Dartmouth. It would provide fit-for-purpose, modern accommodation for the wide range of clinics that were formerly provided at Dartmouth Hospital and are currently offered by the Trust at Dartmouth Clinic, which was repurposed as an interim health and wellbeing centre in 2017. It would also have space to house Dartmouth Medical Practice, Dartmouth Caring, and retail outlets such as a pharmacy. Legal documents are now being drawn up with South Hams District Council and are due to be presented to the governing bodies of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) and Devon Clinical Commissioning Group for approval in May.

The aim is to submit a detailed planning application around November 2019, which would mean subject to approval that work could start on site as early as February 2020. The building is planned to be ready for occupation in early 2021. The Trust’s strategic estates partnership, SDH Innovations (SDHIP) is supporting the Dartmouth project.

Pierre Landell-Mills, Chair of Dartmouth Patient Participation Group, said on behalf of the Dartmouth Health and Wellbeing Centre Working Group: “Planning for the creation of the new centre is now in full swing and we look forward to seeing our new Health and Wellbeing Centre open its doors in 2021.”

In the meantime, a full range of integrated health and care services is available in the community, with the support of the voluntary sector as well as the NHS and Devon County Council. The Trust is monitoring how health and care services are used, and data from the past year shows that:

 60 people from the Dartmouth area have been referred to the Trust’s intermediate care services in the past year. These are community services that support people to recuperate at home following a hospital stay, or to remain at home with some support, where that is the best option for them, rather than being admitted to hospital. Of these people, around half were discharged from the service either requiring no further support or on the same support as they were previously on. Only 10 of the 60 needed to be referred on to hospital  on average at any one time, only two people from Dartmouth are in need of an intermediate care bed in a care home – the numbers range from one to four  16 people from Dartmouth were referred for short-term intermediate care placements in care homes – four of these were in Dartmouth and  there are fewer people from Dartmouth admitted to Torbay Hospital than the average across the trust’s whole population area (93.4 per 1,000 GP population for Dartmouth and 109 per 1,000 GP population across the whole area). People from Dartmouth also have fewer admissions to community hospitals and attendance at ED or MIUs.

Chief Executive at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Liz Davenport, commented: “This data indicates that our new focus on community services is working well, and people are receiving more support in their own home, with fewer people needing to go to hospital. We are keen, though, to hear from local people about their personal experience of health and care services, and the Working Group has developed a plan to carry out some more qualitative research to find out about people’s experiences.”

The working group has commissioned independent watchdog, Healthwatch Devon to evaluate local services by.

Carrying out three drop-in sessions for anyone in Dartmouth to come and talk about their experiences of using health and care services in the past year Trust – including a drop-in session at the Dartmouth Together open day in the Flavel Centre from 10am – 2pm on Saturday 27 April.

Running a postal/telephone survey of people who have received intermediate care from the reviewing a sample of people’s experience of using services, to identify what is working well and where there may be room for improvement 
Promoting feedback through Healthwatch’s ‘Have Your Say’

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