Monday, 02 August 2021

Health chief says beds cut ‘not about money’

THE chief executive of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has revealed the new care model

THE chief executive of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has revealed the new care model at the new Townlands Hospital would be more expensive than the current one.

David Smith told Henley MP John Howell the costings in a letter after he asked him to respond to speculation that the proposed Rapid Access Care Unit model was motivated by the need to save the NHS money.

Mr Smith said: “As set out in our consultation the ambulatory model proposed under the Rapid Acess Care Unit is not about saving money but about how we give patients the best possible health outcomes within the funds available to us.

“The new model of care is fundamentally about delivering care in a different way which supports better clinical outcomes and enables patients to receive care in their home or near their home. The model, combined with the extension of outpatient services will support greater access and choice for local residents than we are able to do if we continue with a bed based model of care.

“Rather than the introduction of the new model of care saving money, there will be an increased cost, which the NHS locally has to fund out of its existing budget.

“The financing arrangement for the new hospital carries an annual rental payment of circa £961,000 per year, regardless of how the building is occupied. Compared to the existing running costs of the Townlands Hospital site this is approximately £722,000 more per year.”

Mr Howell also asked whether comments made by residents and clinicians would influence the outcome of the consultation.

But Mr Smith replied saying that when it ends a “service specification task and finish group” would work to develop the new care model, taking into account the feedback received.

He added the group included colleagues from the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Berkshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, locality clinical lead Dr Andrew Burnett and GPs from both the Bell and Hart Surgeries in Henley.

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