Basildon and Brentwood CCG needs to make savings and has launched a major public consultation on proposed changes to local NHS services.
People in Brentwood, Basildon, Billericay and Wickford are being asked for their views on potential changes to health services.
The CCG – which is responsible for planning, buying and monitoring health care services for its population of 275,000 residents - is facing a £14million deficit in 2016/17.
The formal public consultation, which will run until Monday 12th of September, sets out future plans for Intermediate Care and details proposed changes in policies for a number of treatments, procedures and products.
Intermediate care is short-term NHS care that is provided free of charge for people who no longer need to be in hospital but may, after discharge from hospital, need some extra support which will help them to be as independent as possible.
Basildon and Brentwood CCG’s key Fit for the Future proposals concerning Intermediate Care are:
- To close the 22 Intermediate Care Beds at Mayflower Hospital in Billericay (the two intermediate care wards in Brentwood Community Hospital and Mountnessing Court in Billericay will not be affected). Mayflower Community Hospital will continue to be used for community health and social care services and there are no plans to close the hospital.
- To invest a minimum of £500,000 in extra services including the dementia crisis team, therapies, nursing care and care workers. The aim is to provide care in patients’ homes as familiar surroundings are an important part of their care. This approach has already led to a reduction in the number of patients using dementia beds.
- To consolidate the dementia beds at Thurrock Community Hospital from two wards into one.
The CCG is also proposing changes to its Service Restriction Policy, in that the following treatments / procedures / products would no longer be available to residents in Basildon and Brentwood, except under exceptional circumstances*:
- Male and female sterilisation
- Gluten-free prescribed foods
- Travel vaccinations (non-NHS)
- IVF and Assisted Conception
- Bariatric surgery
- Cosmetic surgery
- Toric intraocular lens implants for astigmatism
- Simultaneous joint replacement
- Pain treatments (facet joint injection, hip and spinal injection and spinal cord stimulation)
*Procedures listed would not stop the referrer (GP or consultant) from being able to refer patients with suspected cancer
In addition, the CCG is proposing that the following treatments and procedures are subject to tighter restrictions than in the current policy: hip arthroscopy; hernia; knee arthroscopy; microsuction; shoulder arthroscopy; Dupuytren's Contracture; carpal tunnel; hysterectomy for menorrhagia; cholecystectomy (gallstones);knee replacement – unilateral; cataract surgery; minor skin lesions; diagnostic endoscopy – dyspepsia; sleep studies – snoring; diagnostic endoscopy - colon (colonoscopy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome - IBS); trigger finger; female genital prolapse/stress incontinence - surgical and non-surgical, and varicose veins.
Full details of all the proposed changes can be found on the CCG’s website here and everyone is encouraged to complete an online/paper survey and give their views.
The CCG is holding a number of formal public consultation meetings on its Fit for the Future proposals.
Future dates and locations are:
Basildon: Wednesday 27th July, 6pm-8pm at Holiday Inn, Festival Leisure Park, Basildon SS13 3DU
Brentwood: Thursday 28th July, 6pm-8pm at Brentwood Community Hospital, Crescent Drive, Brentwood CM15 8DR
Wickford: Friday 12th August, 10am-12noon at Wickford Health Centre, Market Rd, Wickford SS12 0AG
Billericay: Friday 26th August, 1pm-3pm at Emmanuel Church Hall, Laindon Road, Billericay CM12 9LD
Basildon: CCG Annual General Meeting, Thursday 8th September, 4pm-8pm at St. George’s Suite, The Basildon Centre, St. Martin's Square, Basildon, SS14 1DL
Everyone is welcome to attend any of the meetings to ask questions and give their feedback.
The CCG’s consultation exercise includes public meetings, meetings with stakeholders, engagement with specialist interest groups, a web and paper survey, a general comments/queries portal, press releases and engagement with health and social care providers.
The consultation ends on 12th September and will inform the decision set to be taken by Basildon and Brentwood CCG Board members at the end of September.