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The Future of Local Health Services in Northern Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

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The Governing Bodies of the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire met in public on the 25th June 2019 at the Moat House Hotel to undertake conscientious consideration of the feedback received during the consultation on the options put forwards for the future of local health services in Northern Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. 

Following a 14-week consultation process earlier in the year, the CCGs appointed an independent research company to undertake the analysis of views and opinions received from patients, the public and stakeholders. 

It is important to note that no decision on the final options to take forwards was made and that the Governing Bodies agreed to move to the development of a Decision Making Business Case (DMBC) which includes all the original options.

Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs said: “A little while has passed now since the Governing Bodies met and I thought it was important that we keep people updated about what has been happening. A great deal of work is going on in the background to make sure that we take what people said into account when developing the DMBC.”

The DMBC is currently under development with deep dive investigations being undertaken on: 

  • Developing a strengthened narrative about the model of care and what ‘care closer to home’ will mean to patients
  • Reviewing the national evidence in relation to the sustainable and safe number of rehabilitation beds per site
  • Considering the arrangements that will need to be made whilst changes are taking place
  • Refreshing of the financial model underpinning the options
  • Capital investment requirements to be further developed
  • Re-running of the bed modelling data to ensure the baseline remains valid
  • Taking public concerns about care homes into consideration and developing mitigations to address those concerns
  • The Equality Impact Assessment and Quality Impact Assessment to be further developed taking into account responses and feedback from the consultation including robust travel time and access analysis.

There will be no further formal consultation. The 14-week consultation process was the mechanism for the CCGs to gather the feedback to develop the DMBC. 

The DMBC will also be subject to NHS England assurance through both the West Midlands Clinical Senate and NHS England and NHS Improvement formal assurance processes, which will mirror those that were undertaken through the development of the Pre Consultation Business Case. We are aiming to complete this process by the end of November 2019 with the caveats that NHS England may ask for additional steps to be undertaken at any point in time.

Should these timescales be met and the assurance process completed, we will then aim to take the DMBC to an Extra Ordinary Governing Body in public in December 2019. 

At this point, the Governing Bodies will consider the options in full and decide on the option for the bed configuration and the options for the Integrated Care Hubs that will be commissioned moving forwards. This will involve a full review of the impact assessments which will reflect all feedback received through the consultation and will also include full financial models for each option.

It is important to note that at this point in time, there are no preferred options and the DMBC will present to the Governing Bodies a recommended option for the hub and bed configurations based upon the evidence within the business case.