Tania Sitch, Partnership Director, Adults Health and Social Care Thurrock (NELFT and Thurrock Council) and Stephanie Dawe (Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Integrated Care (Essex & Kent) NELFT) presented the report and stated that in response to the need to create additional Community Hospital Beds quickly to respond to the Covid Pandemic, Brentwood Community Hospital was reconfigured and Mayfield Community Hospital Beds were moved temporarily to Brentwood Community Hospital in April 2020. The Mid and South Essex partners had to agree a medium-term solution to manage the demand for community inpatient beds during the surge over the winter period. Stephanie Dawe thanked the Thurrock residents for their understanding through this challenging time and the impact this may have had on local people and that following a review by all partners looking at all of the 19 possible options the decision had been made to:
· Hold 20 beds in Halstead
· 16 beds in CICC, Rochford
· 50 beds in Brentwood Community Hospital
· 24 beds to be returned to Mayfield Ward, Thurrock Hospital
· 16 stroke beds to St Peters, Maldon
· 6 stroke beds to CICC, Rochford
· Totalling 110 beds for immediate care and 22 beds for stroke.
The Chair thanked Officers for the report and stated that it was pleasing news that the beds were returning to the Mayfield.
Councillor Holloway asked for confirmation on the 24 beds that had been removed from Thurrock Hospital all 24 beds would now be returned and asked when this would take place. Stephanie Dawe confirmed this was the case and these beds should be returned by the end of September, early October, to which Councillor Holloway stated this was fantastic news.
Councillor Holloway raised her concern that in six months’ time a further review may take place that would remove those beds again and asked for reassurances that these services would remain permanently in Thurrock. Councillor Holloway also referred to the Business Case and noted there had been no mention of patients or businesses being included in this. Stephanie Dawe stated that resources would always be required in Thurrock to provide the best health care for all residents in the community. That senior clinicians would be involved in this process and longer term work would continue to look at what was right for individuals. Councillor Holloway agreed with the principles but questioned whether health professionals would look to work in Thurrock but see that services were being moved out and would question whether this was the right place for them to live and work. Stephanie Dawe stated that patients would be continually offered home as their first destination and be able to provide specialist services locally therefore Thurrock would still be seen as a great place to live and work and would certainly encourage that.
Councillor Halden welcomed the decision to return those beds back to Mayfield and that the decision at the time to move those beds was wise and sensible it was now wise and sensible to return those beds. With winter pressures being routine for adult social care no further changes to services should be made. Where other pressures arise such as COVID, additional systems would need to be catered for and not move services out of the borough. That a permanent move of services leaving the borough would be a significant variance to the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding. Stephanie Dawe stated that work had been carried out with Thurrock Officers to ensure that what services were offered was the cohesive package and had recognised the need to have those beds there for Thurrock residents.
Councillor Muldowney welcomed the decision to move Mayfield Ward back but stated her concern that the terms did not exclude a permanent move and had continually been promised that Thurrock services would remain in Thurrock. That also patients were not involved in the report and provided Members with some example of comments received. Stephanie Dawe apologised that Members had to hear those stories and assurances were given that they wanted to get this right.
The Chair thanked Officers for the report and agreed that Members were very keen to keep services in Thurrock.
Councillor Redsell questioned the change of use of the Day Room at Mayfield to accommodate beds and was informed this would now be changed back to what it was previously.
Mark Tebbs agreed this was a good decision to bring the beds back to Thurrock during the winter period and stated how complex the process had been with 19 different options being considered to balance those services. That the COVID reset work was also looking at how more services could be moved into the community, in primary care and what opportunity there would be for outpatient services to be delivered within Thurrock. Anthony McKeever reiterated that these changes were made based on what was best for patients and it was now the right decision to bring those services back to Mayfield. Anthony McKeever thanked the Mayfield staff on the ward at Brentwood Hospital. That Stephanie Dawe had undertaken a considerable amount of work looking at all those changes and was grateful to the Health and Wellbeing Members for their support on this difficult move in such a crisis and that the Memorandum of Understanding with health care partnerships would enable develop services in place and broaden the services within the integrated medical centres and offered reassurances and commitment to build services locally.
Councillor Holloway recognised the hard work undertaken and praised staff and thanked Councillor Halden for being in agreement with this decision. Councillor Holloway asked when Mayfield staff would be informed of those decisions. Stephanie Dawe stated as this meeting was to be broadcast live this evening, the decision had been made to ensure that staff heard it first, therefore staff were told today by letter.
Members had a brief discussion on the Integrated Medical Centres to which Roger Harris stated that a full update would be provided at the November meeting.
That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee to note and comment on the updated position of the Temporary reconfiguration of NHS Community Beds across Mid and South Essex including Mayfield Ward from Thurrock Hospital to Brentwood Hospital.