Work is continuing to review a number of health services across Clyde, including specific work to review the balance of older people’s care and services provided at Johnstone Hospital.
This work began last year and an initial community engagement event was held in Renfrewshire in February 2007 to update local patient and carer representatives on the work carried out to-date and give them an opportunity to provide feedback.
This work is being taken forward by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (via the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership), working closely with Renfrewshire Council.
As part of this work we have looked at the model and location of services and number of beds which will be required to meet the future needs of the local population. Johnstone Hospital currently has 60 continuing care beds for frail elderly patients who have complex long term care needs. The review work shows that, compared to other areas of a similar size and make-up to Renfrewshire, there are currently too many continuing care beds and not enough alternative community based services.
It is also accepted that the approach to providing long term care for older people has moved on since Johnstone Hospital opened in the early 1980s. As a result, many patients would now be more appropriately cared for in nursing homes or other community based care facilities rather than being admitted to long stay hospitals. There remains a need for some long term, continuing care service. Often it is considered that this would be best provided alongside other care services.
David Leese, Director of Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership, speaking on behalf of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “This review gives us the opportunity to look afresh at how local services for older people are provided. It also gives us the chance to bring existing services up-to-date to reflect current need, best practice and mirror arrangements in other parts of the country.”
He added: “We therefore need to look at alternatives to hospital admission which are better suited to the needs of long term patients requiring specialist services in the later stages of their lives.”
One of the models that has been explored is whether the services currently provided at Johnstone Hospital could transfer to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. Significant capacity and financial issues, however, need to be examined in more detail to see whether this is a viable option. Another potential alternative could be to commission continuing care for older people in a partnership with the local authority, independent or voluntary sector. These services could continue be led by NHS consultants and the staff providing medical and nursing care would continue to be employed by the NHS. Similar partnership arrangements for older people’s care are already in place in other parts of the country.
The outcome of the work carried out to-date and the models currently being explored will be discussed with local staff and patient groups over the next week. This will inform final proposals and recommendations for these local older people’s services which will then be considered by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board at a meeting on 26th June 2007. If approved, the proposals would then be subject to formal public consultation from the summer.
For further information contact 0141 201 4429 .