Wednesday, 19 December 2018

‘Cutting beds is to save cash’

HEALTH chiefs have been accused of cutting the beds at Townlands Hospital to save money.

HEALTH chiefs have been accused of cutting the beds at Townlands Hospital to save money.

Peppard parish councillor Veronica Treacher made the claim during a public meeting at Peppard war memorial hall on Thursday last week.

About 40 people were present to hear presentations by members of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and then posed questions and gave their views.

Cllr Treacher said: “Step up, step down beds are for saving money and getting rid of beds saves money too. This is the problem.

“The Peppard ward is simply not going to be replaced. It is coming down in November and you have not got enough care-at-home facilities ready.

“We were only notified you had decided to make changes in March and I feel like this consultation process isn’t going to change anything.”

Cllr Treacher referred to a meeting in Henley, where health chiefs confirmed they had the money available for the beds but they did not want to provide them.

Peter McGrane, clinical director at Oxford Health, said: “This is not a done deal and it’s possible, if the model does not work, that we would have to revisit the provision of beds. It’s not a waste of money. We still have the same model of care as in the Seventies. We have to try and do something different.”

Mr McGrane said he had been a nurse at Townlands and was “very proud” of the quality of care delivered there but now there was a need for change.

Former Henley mayor Jeni Wood, who lives in Peppard, said: “I don’t see why we can’t have ambulatory beds and 18 beds in the building. The top floor is currently empty. Why can’t we have beds in there?”

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