Health chiefs to discuss proposals for out of hospital services in south Waveney

Beccles Medical Centre.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Beccles Medical Centre. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Proposals to develop £1.3m of out of hospital services for south Waveney could be approved by health chiefs this week.

Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The plans, which would come into effect in the new year, will be presented to NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) governing body tomorrow.

The proposal includes an out of hospital team, beds with care and a community-based phlebotomy service at the five south Waveney GP practices, with additional funding for the minor injuries service which the practices provide for their patients.

The recommendation comes following the CCG's 'shape of the system' consultation in 2015. Since then, out of hospital services have been introduced in Lowestoft, Southwold, Great Yarmouth and the northern villages, while Beccles Hospital has been developed into an intermediate care facility.

Melanie Craig, chief officer with the CCG, said: 'These plans will further improve the care which patients in the south Waveney area receive by ensuring they are seen by the right professional at the right time and in the right place. Wherever possible, this will be in, or close to, their own homes.

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'The out of hospital teams working across the rest of Great Yarmouth and Waveney have been extremely well-received by patients and we look forward to replicating that success in south Waveney.'

The model of care has been developed following extensive engagement with GPs from the area.

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Dr Kevin MacLusky, a GP with Cutler's Hill Surgery in Halesworth, said: 'I applaud the CCG's plans to provide an out of hospital team for south Waveney to help us provide care at, or closer to, home.

'The health service has to change to provide the best quality and value for money, and an out of hospital team will be welcomed by patients, carers and clinicians alike.'

Dr Tim Morton, a GP partner at Beccles Medical Centre, added: 'We are pleased that we have been able to work with the CCG to shape these plans. If the proposal is approved, the service will make a significant difference to scores of patients each year by ensuring they can receive care closer to home.'

The governing body meeting will be held in public at 1.30pm at Beccles House in Common Lane North, Beccles.

If approved, the service will be delivered by East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).

Dr David Johnston of Longshore Surgeries, which has practices in Kessingland, Wrentham and Wangford, said: 'If approved, these plans will not only improve out of hospital care, but will also enable GPs to provide a community phlebotomy service, which is great news for patients.'

Once the new services are in place, the CCG will discuss a business case for the future of services on the Patrick Stead Hospital site in Halesworth, including the hospital building.

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