Primary Care Trust (PCT) - Review of Intermediate Care
Presentation by Mr Mark Taylor, Director of Provider Services.
Mrs Sheila Childerhouse, the Chairman of PCT, explained that this review was a formal consultation process and part of the process was to have a series of public meetings at locations close to community hospitals that might be affected by the proposed changes to the service. The review of intermediate care provision would end on 5 June 2007 and no formal decisions could be made on any site until the Board meeting scheduled for July 2007. She assured member that the PCT had no intention of closing the majority of beds in Norfolk. This review was about long term, good value for money and it was very important to ensure that the PCT offered people more choice.
Mrs Childerhouse introduced Mr Mark Taylor, Director of Provider Services, who in turn provided Members with a presentation about the PCT and why the review was being undertaken (copy attached for information).
At the end of the presentation questions were invited.
A Member asked about the County’s medical services in general and queried how the £290m overspend in East Anglia had suddenly been reduced to £150m. He further asked about staffing issues and whether the Breckland area would be getting any additional doctors to compensate for all the new build in the area.
In response, Mr Taylor stated that the main hospitals were facing a very challenging time and that he could not predict whether a number of staff, in the medical profession, would be facing redundancy in the forthcoming year. As far as the PCT was concerned, staff would be re-deployed but there was still a risk of some redundancies. It was explained that the number of doctors for population growth was insensitive to short term fluctuations, it was quite a slow incremental process; however, future growth should trigger further funding. Mr Taylor explained that the NHS was still heavily in debt but all organisations had worked very hard to reduce this figure. The Norfolk PCT was now living within its means; however it still had a debt of £47m to clear.
Another Member asked about doctor/patient ratios. In response, Mr Taylor advised that he could acquire detailed information of general practice provision and would forward this information to him.
A Member questioned the dedicated community care for the mentally ill and where they could access that care under Section 17 of the Mental Health Act. Mr Taylor advised that the PCT’s remit covered physical disabilities and not mental but he would endeavour to find the answer to this question.
A Member asked the PCT to justify taking beds from the Swaffham Community Hospital when, according to the presentation, in the West of the County in Breckland and beyond it was not considered that there were enough intermediate care beds. It was explained that although Swaffham Community Hospital would no longer house beds it would continue to provide a range of outpatient and community services. There were other intermediate care beds in the County and the PCT would ensure that people in the West would be suitably cared for. In response, the Member felt that Swaffham should have access locally to both.
Mrs Childerhouse informed Members that the PCT was carrying out a pilot piece of work with Broadland District Council to scope future needs and if it went well she felt that it should be extended throughout the County.
A Thetford Member asked about cross-county co-operation/co-ordination on health care provision. The former Chairman of Policy Development and Review Panel 1 said that the Panel’s feelings towards Thetford were quite strong; Members were concerned about the growth in the town and the lack of the PCT’s attendance at two meetings of Moving Thetford Forward. Breckland did not have a pilot scheme, future growth was a reality and it was important that the PCT was represented at future meetings.
The Chairman thanked Mrs Childerhouse and Mr Taylor for attending the meeting and looked forward to having further discussions in the future.