HEALTHCARE in Coventy and Warwickshire is set to be overhauled in a bid to save £267 million in the next five years.
Having been shrouded in secret talks for months, the region’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) released today has revealed savings will have to be made at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire (UHCW), Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital (GEH), as well as across mental health provision and community services.
Under the new plans, patients admitted to hospital will be sent home early “even if they have not yet fully recovered” in order to receive care at home and relieve pressure on hospital A&E departments and wards.
Pregnant women will be encouraged to have home births with the support of newly established and expanded community hubs.
People will also be given better support to enable them to die at home rather than in hospital.
A new Acute Stroke Unit will be established at UHCW, with care at GEH and Warwick Hospital ceasing.
Stroke victims will be admitted to to the UHCW unit for initial care before being moved to rehabilitation beds at GEH and Warwick and then back home with the support of the Early Supported Discharge (ESD) team.
While many had feared the report would detail the closure of GEH or plans to amalgamate A&E and maternity services at UHCW, a leading author of the report, UHCW chief executive, Professor Andy Hardy said: “It is disappointing that our STP was leaked ahead of publication but on behalf of the STP board, I can confirm that plans for a single A&E and Maternity Unit for Coventry and Warwickshire have not been discussed or agreed as part of the STP planning process.
“No decisions have been made for the future of A & E or Maternity Services at the George Eliot Hospital and there are no plans for any closures to any hospitals in Coventry and Warwickshire.”
However, while the report says that no decisions have been made on the future of maternity and paediatrics, this does not mean either department has been ruled out from future cuts or closures.
Among other proposals detailed in the report is a greater emphasis on preventative care – particularly for the frail, elderly, smokers and the high-risk obese – in order to reduce attendance to hospital and A&E attendance by 21,000 people each year.
Professor Hardy added: “The STP plan is not about hospitals closing.
“It is about designing services differently with the resources that we have and focusing on preventing physical and mental ill health.
“The joint vision across health and social care is to work together to deliver high quality care which supports our communities to live well, stay independent and enjoy life.”
Coventry and Warwickshire’s STP Board is made up of nine organisations including hospitals, mental health and community services, local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups, and has been drawn up consultants for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and led by Professor Hardy.
The report, was submitted to NHS England in October, and a public consultation is expected in the new year.
STPs have been drawn up by each of the 44 regions across the country, have been branded by NHS England as a way of improving the health service and ensuring is future.
The full report can be read HERE.