Council ‘could fund interim rehab beds’
Hospital bosses urged to talk to council about keeping beds at Frenchay
Local NHS bosses have been urged by the Leader of South Gloucestershire Council’s Conservative Group to talk to the authority about keeping beds at Frenchay Hospital until the new Health and Social Care centre opens in 2016.
Acute services are due to transfer next May from Frenchay to Southmead Hospital under the controversial 2005 Bristol Health Services Plan agreed and signed into contract by the previous Labour government.
Local health bosses in the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have been considering how interim inpatient rehabilitation beds are provided from May 2014 until Frenchay’s new Health and Social Care centre opens in 2016.
Converting existing ward blocks at Southmead or Frenchay have been the two options considered, but the Frenchay option has been estimated by the NHS to cost an extra £2.4million a year, which is why their preference is the Southmead site.
At a meeting of the CCG’s Board today (Wednesday 21st August), Cllr John Calway (Con, Longwell Green), Conservative Group Leader, urged the local NHS to meet with the council to see if the authority can potentially contribute funding towards keeping inpatient rehabilitation beds at Frenchay.
Cllr Sarah Pomfret (Con, Bradley Stoke Central & Stoke Lodge), Conservative Lead Member on the council’s Public Health & Health Scrutiny Committee said:
“Whilst we’re pleased to see a firming up of the commitment from the local NHS that the new Frenchay Health and Social Care centre will open in 2016, we do have concerns about what happens in the lead up to this date once acute services have transferred to the new Southmead hospital in May 2014.
The local NHS’ preference is to provide ‘interim rehabilitation services’ in an existing building at Southmead, rather than use an existing ward block at Frenchay, which they are justifying on cost grounds even though they say it would be better and easier for patients to use the Frenchay site.
As a Conservative Group, we have, therefore, requested that the local NHS meet urgently with South Gloucestershire Council to see if the council can potentially commit funding so that these interim beds can remain within South Gloucestershire at Frenchay until the new Health and Social Care centre opens as promised.”