Archive for September, 2009

Integrated care pilots: An introductory guide

Posted on September 30, 2009. Filed under: Integrated care, Reports/papers |

Department of Health | 30 September 2009

The programme of Integrated Care Pilots (ICP) is a two-year Department of Health (DH) initiative. Its purpose is to explore different ways of providing health and social care services to help drive improvements in local health and wellbeing.

Integrated care is an important building block within the strategic plan for improving the health and wellbeing of the population of England, as highlighted in both the NHS Next Stage Review report High Quality Care for All and the concordat Putting People First. Both documents stress the importance of improving local health and care services by offering personalised, flexible and high quality services, where the individual is at the centre and engaged in service organisation. Integration may refer to partnerships, systems and models as well as organisations; crossing boundaries between primary, community, secondary and social care.
Each of the 16 pilot sites participating in the national programme has developed an integrated model of
care to help respond to particular local needs. Using their in-depth knowledge of the local population, the pilots are

Integrated care is an important building block within the strategic plan for improving the health and wellbeing of the population of England, as highlighted in both the NHS Next Stage Review report High Quality Care for All and the concordat Putting People First. Both documents stress the importance of improving local health and care services by offering personalised, flexible and high quality services, where the individual is at the centre and engaged in service organisation. Integration may refer to partnerships, systems and models as well as organisations; crossing boundaries between primary, community, secondary and social care.

Each of the 16 pilot sites participating in the national programme has developed an integrated model of care to help respond to particular local needs. Using their in-depth knowledge of the local population, the pilots are designing services that should be flexible, personalised and seamless.

The ICP programme is one of a number of initiatives looking to deliver these objectives. All pilots will be working with local organisations involved in world class commissioning (WCC) assurance Year 2, and participation in ICP should enable sites to demonstrate success against many of the competencies for WCC assurance.

The following pages provide summaries of the work each pilot will be doing over the next two years as they explore the potential and impact of their models, whilst identifying learning and best practice to be shared with others.

Download Integrated care pilots: an introductory guide (PDF, 2456K)

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Assurance over new health centre

Posted on September 30, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

Scarborough Evening News | North Yorkshire & York PCT | East Riding of Yorkshire PCT |  30 September 2009

SCARBOROUGH’S new “Darzi” health centre will ensure patients continue to receive the best possible care without affecting existing GP services in the town.

That was the message in a public meeting at The Christian (Oasis) Centre where more than 30 people attended to give their views on the controversial walk-in clinic.

The extended hours centre opens tomorrow at 8am at the temporary base of the Castle Clinic in Auborough Street, which is part of the Rainbow Centre.

The 8am to 8pm centre will eventually move to the former Scarborough Building Society premises in York Place, offering services to support drug and alcohol users and the homeless as well as giving people the chance to register with a GP.

Scarborough GP Dr David Ames was asked in the meeting how the centre would deal with violent patients and attract new people.

He said: “Sometimes patients are difficult because they find access to services difficult but I don’t expect we will be looking at a lot of patients and if we can arrange better access for them we may be able to solve the problem.

“We expect patients to come to us through word of mouth and to a large extent the majority of people will find us.”

He said the centre could extend specialist services included mental health and sexual health services.

Public Meeting: Opening of extended GP services in Scarborough

Media Release | North Yorkshire & York PCT | 15 September 2009

 

Date: Monday 28 September, 7pm – 8:30pm (doors open at 6:45pm)
Venue: The Christian (Oasis) Centre, Castle Road/Oxford Street, Scarborough, YO11 9AG
Who: Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting
In the run-up to the launch of the new extended GP services for Scarborough on 1 October, NHS North Yorkshire and York is holding a public meeting to give local residents and organisations the opportunity to find out more about what will be provided and how their views have been taken onboard.
The meeting will be held on Monday 28 September from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Christian (Oasis) Centre in Scarborough. Following a short welcome from independent Chair Cllr Gareth Dadd (Chair of the North Yorkshire Overview and Scrutiny of Health Committee), presentations will be given from senior representatives from NHS North Yorkshire and York, Echo Access Limited and Coast and Moors Voluntary Action with an open question and answer session at the end.
The original plan for providing extended GP services, which includes a walk-in GP appointment facility provided seven days a week from 8am – 8pm, was to open the centre on York Place in Scarborough town centre. However, following the discovery of asbestos in the building, a decision was made to temporarily provide the services
from Castle Health Centre on Auborough Street until the asbestos has been safely removed allowing building works to commence.
David Cockayne, Director of Strategy for NHS North Yorkshire and York said: “The proposal to provide extended GP services in Scarborough has generated much interest from local residents so this is a great opportunity for them to come and hear how their views have been taken onboard.
“A significant amount of work has gone into getting to this stage and we are confident that these services will help to address some of the health inequalities in the area, albeit being provided from a temporary location to begin with.
“I would personally urge anyone with an interest in the new services to come along to the meeting to find out more.”
The contract to provide extended GP services was awarded to a group of local GPs, known as Echo Access Limited, earlier this year. Clinical Director for Echo Access Limited, Dr David Ames, commented: “Unlike a typical GP practice, our services are targeted at those people who may typically find it difficult to access health services in the area.
“The long-term vision is to provide a wide portfolio of services covering health issues including sexual health, counselling and support, drug and alcohol related illness and to provide specialist services for the homeless.
“Whilst we will have the capacity to register patients like a typical GP practice, we will also offer a ‘drop-in’ style appointment system which will mean that anyone will be able to see a healthcare professional regardless of whether they are registered with the practice or not. This includes visitors and tourists to the area.”
ENDS

Date: Monday 28 September, 7pm – 8:30pm (doors open at 6:45pm)

Venue: The Christian (Oasis) Centre, Castle Road/Oxford Street, Scarborough, YO11 9AG

Who: Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting

In the run-up to the launch of the new extended GP services for Scarborough on 1 October, NHS North Yorkshire and York is holding a public meeting to give local residents and organisations the opportunity to find out more about what will be provided and how their views have been taken onboard.

The meeting will be held on Monday 28 September from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Christian (Oasis) Centre in Scarborough. Following a short welcome from independent Chair Cllr Gareth Dadd (Chair of the North Yorkshire Overview and Scrutiny of Health Committee), presentations will be given from senior representatives from NHS North Yorkshire and York, Echo Access Limited and Coast and Moors Voluntary Action with an open question and answer session at the end.

The original plan for providing extended GP services, which includes a walk-in GP appointment facility provided seven days a week from 8am – 8pm, was to open the centre on York Place in Scarborough town centre. However, following the discovery of asbestos in the building, a decision was made to temporarily provide the services

from Castle Health Centre on Auborough Street until the asbestos has been safely removed allowing building works to commence.

David Cockayne, Director of Strategy for NHS North Yorkshire and York said: “The proposal to provide extended GP services in Scarborough has generated much interest from local residents so this is a great opportunity for them to come and hear how their views have been taken onboard.

“A significant amount of work has gone into getting to this stage and we are confident that these services will help to address some of the health inequalities in the area, albeit being provided from a temporary location to begin with.

“I would personally urge anyone with an interest in the new services to come along to the meeting to find out more.”

The contract to provide extended GP services was awarded to a group of local GPs, known as Echo Access Limited, earlier this year. Clinical Director for Echo Access Limited, Dr David Ames, commented: “Unlike a typical GP practice, our services are targeted at those people who may typically find it difficult to access health services in the area.

“The long-term vision is to provide a wide portfolio of services covering health issues including sexual health, counselling and support, drug and alcohol related illness and to provide specialist services for the homeless.

“Whilst we will have the capacity to register patients like a typical GP practice, we will also offer a ‘drop-in’ style appointment system which will mean that anyone will be able to see a healthcare professional regardless of whether they are registered with the practice or not. This includes visitors and tourists to the area.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Castle Health Centre will be located on, Auborough Street, Scarborough YO11 1HT.

Providing equitable access to GP services is a core element of the NHS Next Stage Review which seeks to achieve ‘high quality care for all’.

An initial public meeting was held in August 2008 followed by a public consultation exercise to gauge the views and needs of the Scarborough population.

Following a rigorous tendering exercise, Echo Limited was awarded the contract to provide extended GP services for Scarborough in February 2009.

The services provided will include:

  • Traditional GP services by appointment available at convenient times for patients;
  • Walk-in GP services for Scarborough residents and visitors to use open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm including bank holidays

Once the permanent premises opens on York Place, additional services will be provided including:

  • Sexual health and family planning services
  • Counselling and other support services for people with mental health problems
  • Specialist support services for drug users and people with alcohol related problems
  • A support service for homeless people
  • Advice and support in self-care
  • NHS organisations, other public bodies and non public organisations (i.e voluntary agencies) working together more closely to support the health needs o the community.
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Pendle MP: Colne health centre delays ‘not on’

Posted on September 30, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

The Citizen (Burnley) | NHS East Lancashire | 30 September 2009

DELAYS in building the proposed £10million health centre in Colne have been described as “unacceptable” by Pendle MP Gordon Prentice.

He delivered the message to NHS East Lancashire Trust bosses when he met them at their Regent Street offices in Nelson.

The meeting was with Steve Spoerry, NHS East Lancashire chief executive, and vice- chairman David Joyce.

They discussed the plans for the state-of-the-art facility on the site of the former Kwik Save super-market, in Craddock Road.

Later, Mr Prentice said: “I do not want to see the Colne Health Centre become a long-term aspiration. People want it now.

“Endless talking by Pendle Council and consultations about where the new health centre should be located clearly delayed things – so much so that other NHS building projects elsewhere in East Lancashire which were behind us in the queue have now overtaken us.

“I want a firm decision by the turn of the year to press ahead with the new health centre that Colne so badly needs.”

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Droitwich Medical Centre praised

Posted on September 29, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Droitwich Advertiser | Worcestershire PCT | 29 September 2009

DROITWICH Spa Medical Centre has been hailed a success one year after it was opened.

Town MP Peter Luff visited the health centre to mark its first anniversary and described it as “outstanding”.

Mr Luff visited the two medical practices in the centre – The Spa and Salters Medical Practices – as well as the physiotherapy service also based at the site.

He also saw the preparatory work for the new X-ray services to be operated by the private sector and toured the day case surgery unit.

He said: “What Droitwich now has is, in effect, a hospital without beds – a medical facility capable of dealing with a huge range of health issues using state-of-the-art equipment. During the construction phase, I was surprised by the size of the building but in fact it packs a lot in.

“The day case unit is capable of delivering virtually any surgical procedure done under local anaesthetic – and at a much lower cost than at an acute hospital. Operations performed there are more convenient for local people and cost the taxpayer less – it will be a win-win situation if it’s used as much as I hope.

“The doctors who were behind the design, funding and development of this project really do deserve the gratitude of the town. Left exclusively to the NHS we just wouldn’t have this first-rate service in Droitwich. It’s a great local initiative.

“I describe it as a hospital without beds – and beds are what we need next in Droitwich. The Worcester hospital is reasonably close, but getting there by public transport or car can be a nightmare – and it’s operating at full capacity. What we need next are step-down, convalescent beds in Droitwich for people to recover nearer to their friends and families.

“But that’s the next stage – nothing can detract from the excellence of the new health centre. It’s yet another reason to be really confident about the town’s future.”

New £6m medical centre is open

Worcester news | Worcestershire PCT | 17 September 2008

A new multi-million pound state-of-the-art medical centre has opened its doors in Worcestershire.

Staff at the Droitwich Spa Medical Centre cared for their first patients on Monday after development work was completed and staff and equipment moved in.

The £6 million project in Ombersley Street East will incorporate two previous practices which have relocated from the old health centre site.

The Spa Medical Practice and the Salters Medical Practice have both now moved, along with additional primary care trust services.

Practice phone numbers and opening hours will remain the same despite the move.

The six GPs at the Spa Medical Practice and nine at Salters Medical Practice will help provide care for up to 19,000 patients.

The new centre has more rooms, meaning each GP will have their own consulting room, as well as additional space for clinics and treatment rooms.

The three-storey building has been constructed on the site of the town’s former magistrates court.

The old health centre, also in Ombersley Street East, will now make way for car parking for the new site.

Nigel Higenbottam, GP premises development manager at the Worcestershire Primary Care Trust, said: “We are delighted with the new facilities which will provide improved health care to nearly 19,000 patients in Droitwich Spa.

“A range of community staff have also moved into the new health centre.

“These include district nurses, health visitors for children and the elderly, school nurses, podiatrists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

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Constituency Matters: Speaking up for the NHS

Posted on September 28, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics |

Ealing Gazette | By Andy Slaughter, MP for Ealing Acton & Shepherds Bush | 28 September 2009

I recently attended the annual meeting of the Health Service in Hammersmith & Fulham. Yet another change of name means we are now supposed to call this the local NHS, just as we have got used to calling it the PCT.

But whatever it is called it is big business – spending over £276 million in the borough this year. The Chair, Jeff Zitron, said this was one of the best years so far for the NHS. The new Polyclinic at Charing Cross has just opened following that at Hammersmith Hospital earlier in the summer and the borough’s third at White City is finally underway following two years of refusal by the council to give it planning permission.

Even here there is good news with the new GP and dental practices being housed on the Canberra school site while the new health centre is built – with the added bonus that the school will get £250,000 in rent.

Polyclinics provide new GP services and a lot more in the way of community and hospital services either to registered or walk in patients. They will offer seven day extended hours services (24 hour at Charing Cross) and thus relieve the pressure on A&E.

Charing Cross also gets one of the eight new London stroke centres and there has been a major expansion of maternity and community nursing services. 80% of GP services across the borough are now opening extended hours.

And yet very little of this good news – the biggest expansion of health care since the NHS was founded – finds its way to us. Partly this is because the NHS is still very bad at telling the public what it has to offer, but it is also a deliberate political ploy to play down the good news here, as it is with investment in schools and other public services

The Tories opposed Polyclinics and extended GP opening, indeed the whole investment programme in the NHS, and are reluctant to credit their success now. More worrying, in Hammersmith the council has inserted its chief executive as chief executive of the NHS, putting the health at local level under political influence for the first time. There is no incentive for the NHS to sing its own praises when its political masters are telling it to be quiet.

Moreover the Tories in Hammersmith & Fulham – through the taxpayer-funded HFNews – are running an alternative and wholly false storyline that services are closing – including Charing Cross Hospital.

While this laughable rumour is contradicted by every new building, ward, and piece of high tech equipment that opens on the site, telling the truth – that there has never been more investment or higher standards of care in the NHS – would spoil the tale.

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Hospitals ‘will discharge patients early and delay operations to save £20bn’

Posted on September 28, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

London Evening Standard | Anna Davis, Health Reporter | 28 September 2009

Patients will be discharged early and operations could be delayed as the NHS struggles to cope with huge funding cuts, experts warned today.

Doctors and nurses could face pay cuts, routine appointments could be scrapped and administration work shared between hospitals after Health Secretary Andy Burnham admitted the NHS needed to save up to £20 billion.

Foundation hospitals, which manage their own finances, have been told they have not planned well enough to cope with the recession, and £500 million that would fund new community hospitals is in doubt.

Hospitals have already started sharing back-office work to save money, and the first “super trust” made up of three hospitals has been created in south London.

Nigel Edwards, policy director of the NHS Confederation, the body of organisations that make up the health service, said the cutbacks were unprecedented. “This is uncharted territory and we are exploring new ways of dealing with it. It is a challenge on a scale very few systems have had to face.” He said the worst case scenario would be for the NHS to shut services and delay operations such as knee, cataract and hip surgery until patients’ conditions deteriorated.

Operations were delayed by up to four months when the NHS had a cash crisis in 2005. In some areas, NHS managers told hospitals to postpone surgery for as long as possible. In Harrow it was reported that the PCT asked hospitals to do the “minimum” to meet targets.

The Government could save £500 million by reducing the average length of a stay in hospital, according to an NHS Confederation report.

Mr Edwards said hospitals could also save money by scrapping routine appointments for people with long-term conditions, such as chronic obstructive airway disease.

He suggested patients should only see a doctor when they were actually feeling ill and that clinics could be set up where certain conditions could be dealt with in one day.

London is moving towards this system with the introduction of polyclinics, which are designed to reduce the number of times patients have to visit hospitals. The capital’s eighth polyclinic opened in Haringey on Friday. It houses traditionally hospital-based services such as blood tests, out-patient appointments, minor surgery, ultrasound and physiotherapy.

Mr Edwards warned that if these initial changes did not save enough money, the Government could decide to slash doctors’ pay or cut jobs.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We do not believe the right answer to improving the NHS is blanket cuts across the NHS workforce. The NHS is in a very healthy position regarding recruitment and retention, and in some areas such as maternity services we need more clinicians not fewer.”

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Checking up on co-operation

Posted on September 28, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories |

Chronicle Live | By Helen Rae | Sunderland tPCT | 28 September 2009

HEALTH Reporter Helen Rae finds out why a Government health chief has visited a medical centre in the region.

A GOVERNMENT health official paid a visit to a North East health centre.

David Behan, the Department of Health’s Director General of Social Care, toured Washington Primary Care Centre on a visit to Wearside.

Mr Behan was in the area to discuss the Total Place initiative, which looks at how local public agencies can better work together to deliver frontline services more efficiently, giving them an opportunity to reshape and improve the quality of life for their communities.

Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland were named in April as a pilot area for the Government scheme.

Mr Behan looked at what Washington Primary Care Centre – which was officially opened in April this year – offers the local community in terms of more choice and more convenient access to healthcare services.

The building, adjacent to Washington Leisure Centre, is Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust’s (TPCT) third Primary Care Centre.

As well as a GP-led minor injuries and illnesses unit, services include chemotherapy, renal dialysis, radiology, sexual health and primary care substance misuse.

Mr Behan met drug and alcohol mis-use service providers and commission-ers and was given an outline of the multi-agency response to substance misuse in South of Tyne and Wear.

He went on to Bunny Hill Customer Service Centre, which already brings together business, voluntary and public sector bodies to provide the community with a wide range of public services – including Bunny Hill Primary Care Centre.

There he talked about the Total Place pilot with senior representatives of local partner organisations.

Mr Behan said: “If people are to get access to high-quality services then it is essential that agencies work together.

“I have been impressed by the quality of the partnerships that exist between the PCTs and the councils in the area. They are working hard to ensure local people receive services which are high quality and a good use of public money.”

Dr David Hambleton, Director of Commissioning and Reform for NHS South of Tyne and Wear, added: “It was a pleasure to have the Director General visit to see first-hand how all partners are coming together.”

Dave Smith, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “We welcome the Director General’s advice and the confidence that he has given that we can continue to concentrate on our long-term commitment to fundamental change.”

Washington and Sunderland’s health centres get Government approval

Sunderland Echo | By Cara Houchen | 28 September 2009

Efforts to conquer Wearside’s legacy of bad health have left a top Government expert impressed.

David Behan, director general of social care, toured Washington Primary Care Centre to see the range of NHS facilities on offer to patients.

He was in the area to discuss the Total Place project, which looks at how public agencies can work together to improve services and boost quality of life. 

Sunderland, along with South Tyneside and Gateshead, has been named as a pilot area for the Government scheme. 

The new Washington Primary Care Centre offers a GP-led minor injuries and illnesses unit and other services such as chemotherapy, kidney dialysis, radiology, sexual health advice and substance misuse help. 

Mr Behan also visited Bunny Hill Customer Service Centre, in Downhill, which has a range of services under one roof, including a primary care centre. 

Mr Behan had a meeting about the Total Place pilot with senior representatives of local organisations.

He said: “If people are to get access to high-quality services then it is essential agencies work together.

“I have been impressed by the quality of the partnerships that exist between the primary care trusts and the councils in the area. 

“They are working hard to ensure local people receive services which are high quality and a good use of public money.”

Washington is the third primary care centre set up by Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (TPCT).

GPs given contract for walk-in centre.

Dr David Hambleton is director of commissioning and reform for NHS South of Tyne and Wear, which includes Sunderland TPCT.

He said: “It was a pleasure to have the director general visit to see first-hand how all partners are coming together to work collectively on tackling substance misuse in a better, more cost-effective way.”

Dave Smith, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “The confidence he has given means we can continue our commitment to fundamental change that will result in improved outcomes for local people.”

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High cost of new Blackburn health centre

Posted on September 28, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Lancashire Telegraph | By Chris Hopper | NHS Blackburn with Darwen | 28 September 2009

A NEW health centre due to be built for £21million will cost taxpayers more than £50million, it has emerged.

Health bosses last month secured private finance for the facility, in Alma Street, off Barbara Castle Way, Blackburn, with a deal to lease the building back.

But now the Lancashire Telegraph has learned that under the terms of the deal, NHS Blackburn with Darwen will pay around £2million a year for 25 years, with annual instalments adjusted for inflation.

And the trust must then make a further payment if it wants to buy the site at market value in 2034.

Yesterday, Roy Davies, Blackburn with Darwen’s health watchdog, criticised the deal and similar public finance initiative (PFI) schemes.

He said: “I don’t think this is a good way to built public buildings at all. I think it is disgusting that we have so much money to pay back.

“I am trying to discourage NHS officers from going down the PFI route.”

Coun Davies said he believed cash for the build of the health centre should have been found within NHS Blackburn with Darwen’s budget.

Burnley General Hospital’s new £29million maternity unit has been paid for from East Lancashire Hospitals’ capital fund, although the Royal Blackburn Hospital extension was bankrolled by PFI at huge cost to taxpayers.

The new health centre, which is expected to open in September 2011, will replace the outdated Montague Health Centre.

Paul Hinnigan, NHS Blackburn with Darwen’s finance director, said: “A replacement for Montague Health Centre has been a priority for some time.

“We have an option to purchase the new health centre at the end of the lease which will be linked to its market value.

“It is not a commitment to buy and we can decide whether or not to take up the option at that time.”

The Lancashire Telegraph has previously revealed that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust will pay £680million over 35 years for the Royal Blackburn Hospital extension, which opened in 2006.

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New £12m Wellbeing Centre for Staffordshire

Posted on September 27, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: |

The Gov Monitor | Source: Stafforshire County Council | 27 September 2009

A new £12m Health and Wellbeing Centre is to be built in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, after the council appointed the Wm Saunders Partnership to draw up plans for the complex.

The Newark-based firm was selected from nearly 40 prospective bidders to design the new centre, which will include an 80-station fitness suite, a 25m, eight-lane swimming pool, a 15m learner pool, dance studios and a health suite.

Treatment and seminar rooms and a café are also among the facilities planned for the Health and Wellbeing Centre, which is being developed by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council (NLBC) in partnership with NHS North Staffordshire.

Concept drawings for the proposed centre, which is scheduled to open its doors to the public in late 2010, are now being drawn up by the Wm Saunders Partnership before a planning application is submitted by Christmas.

NLBC intends to launch a public consultation to gather the views of local residents, user groups and stakeholders in order to determine the detailed specifications of the complex, which is earmarked for a site on the town’s Brunswick Street.

Mary Maxfield, NLBC cabinet member for culture and active communities, said: “We will be engaging with as many groups as possible over the coming weeks as we build up to submitting a planning application before Christmas.

What they say will be fed into the development process and will help the design team to determine how spaces, services and facilities take shape.”

Top architects in Newcastle appointed to health and wellbeing project

The Gov Monitor | Source: Newcastle Borough Council | 14 September 2009

One of the country’s leading sports architecture companies has been appointed to work with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council on its multi-million pound Health and Wellbeing Centre.

The Wm Saunders Partnership – who have offices in London, Cardiff, Nottingham and Leeds – have been selected following a rigorous procedure which saw nearly 40 companies bidding for the prestigious contract.

Borough council officials made the announcement today as they revealed the design team for the project has now been assembled.

As well as the Wm Saunders Partnership, other specialist advisors have been recruited for a range of tasks including mechanical and electrical work and structural experts.

Simon Tagg, Leader of the borough council, said: “The Wm Saunders Partnership has some very impressive credentials and we are delighted they are on board.

“They have been involved in some exceptional sports and leisure design projects and we are sure they will help us to deliver a new landmark building in the town with truly first class facilities.”

The award winning company is currently working on leisure projects in York, Redcar, Louth and Malton. It has experience at numerous other locations across the country.

Cllr. Mary Maxfield, Cabinet member for culture and active communities, said: “The facilities mix has already been established and it will see a 25 metre, eight lane swimming pool; 15-metre learner pool; 80-station fitness suite; dance studios; health suite; treatment and seminar rooms and cafeteria.”

She added: “There are still plenty of issues which residents, staff and user groups will be able to have a say on.

“We will be engaging with as many groups as possible over the coming weeks as we build up to submitting a planning application before Christmas. What they say will be fed into the development process and will help the design team to determine how spaces, services and facilities take shape.”

Chris Holdsworth from the Wm Saunders Partnership said: “We are delighted to have been chosen and we are looking forward to working with the council in delivering a high class facility.”

NHS North Staffordshire is working in partnership with the borough council and part-funding the development to help to make sure that the centre meets the health needs of local people when it opens its doors in late 2011.

Concept drawings for the £12 million scheme – which is earmarked for a site in Brunswick Street close to Newcastle town centre – are now being worked on by the specialists and these will be used to help with the engagement process.

A preliminary discussion has already taken place with key stakeholders in the Council Chamber this week and more consultation will take place as the project moves forward.

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‘Private health care will be bad for patients’

Posted on September 26, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories | Tags: |

Hackney Citizen | By Josh Loeb | City & Hackney PCT | 26 September 2009

Plans for private companies to run Hackney health services condemned.

 

Keep our NHS public supporters, Hackney

Keep our NHS public supporters, Hackney

PATIENTS are up in arms at plans to privatise a key part of Hackney’s health services.

Contracts to run two health centres have been put out to tender amid protests from patients and campaigners that they were not consulted over potential private sector bids.

A petition signed by 800 people – some patients of the practices in question – was presented toCity and Hackney Primary Care Trust (PCT) at its 11 September board meeting.

The petition, drafted by campaigning group Hackney Keep Our NHS Public (KONP), called for an end to the possible ‘sell-offs’ of health services, arguing that private companies would put the interests of shareholders ahead of patients.

The campaigners say the privatisation of services offered in the borough will lead to a lower quality of care.

They argue that private healthcare firms employ doctors on short-term contracts, damaging the patient – doctor relationship.
The contracts to run a new service at the Oldhill practice in Stamford Hill and a similar one at a yet-to-be-confirmed site in south eastern Hackney have been put out to tender in response to a government initiative.

At the packed PCT board meeting, which was held in public, local solicitor and KONP campaigner Wendy Pettifer said, “People don’t know the private tendering process is happening. The majority of residents would be against the private sector running health centres.”

Steve Gilvin, the PCT’s director of primary care consulting, replied that the PCT had carried out polling of patients – but he added that the type of provider was “not an issue for consultation”.

Sharon Patrick, the PCT’s non-executive director, said she had been contacted by Hackney LINk – a group that represents health service users – who told her it had not been informed the practices were up for grabs to private companies.

Camden KONP was left outraged recently after the contract to run a health centre in that borough was awarded to corporate giant CARE UK before the public consultation had ended. The group is now taking legal action.

One campaigner, Bronwen Handyside, told the Citizen, “We know there are 40 bids in and we know that CARE UK has put up bids all over the country for these kinds of services.”

PCT chief executive Jacqui Harvey said the Trust was obliged to allow companies to tender for the contracts. She said, “What matters to us most is having GPs deliver the best possible care to our residents.”

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CHP powers £5m health centre

Posted on September 25, 2009. Filed under: LIFT, News stories, Providers |

24dash.com | Published by Jocelyn Rowan for Baxi Group | 25 September 2009

Two DACHS mini-CHP units from Baxi SenerTec UK are providing heat and power for the new £5 million Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing. 

The units, each producing 12.5kW of heating and 5.5kW of electricity, are supplemented by a 750-litre buffer vessel and two exhaust flue gas condensers to boost their heating output by 3kW each giving a total output of 31kW of heat and 11kW of electricity.

The system is also coupled with two gas condensing boilers which, in conjunction with the CHP units, feed a condensing plate heat exchanger to produce domestic hot water.

Mark Walker, an associate at consulting engineers Hulley and Kirkwood, said the DACHS units had made a significant contribution to the low carbon strategy of the building.

“We originally considered installing a single larger unit, but this would have been less cost effective and unable to fit into the plant room,” he said. “However, the DACHS units offer high heat and power outputs in a small footprint.

“Space was the major challenge on this project along with noise levels and minimising the carbon intensity of the building. We thermally modelled the building and designed it in such a way that we didn’t need to employ renewables.”

Running

The Dachs packaged mini-CHP unit is designed for continuous running with a design life of around 80,000 running hours. The reliable internal combustion engine drives a low maintenance three-phase electrical generator, and the heat generated by the engine is captured and transferred to the building’s heating system.

“The DACHS has much lower noise levels than larger systems – down to 52 dB(a) at 1m,” added Mr Walker. “This meant we could easily meet local planning restrictions covering noise pollution. These units are particularly good for building up capacities in a modular way and they have proved themselves to be a cost-effective solution to reducing the carbon footprint of small buildings.”

The DACHS engine offers an overall fuel efficiency between 79 and 92 per cent and includes an integrated modem for off-site monitoring and control. Up to 10 units can be installed in a multi-module arrangement.

The 15-month building project was completed on time and to budget under the Local Improvement Finance Trust scheme (LIFT), a vehicle run by Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership to improve and develop frontline primary and community care facilities in the area. The m&e element of the project was worth around £900,000.

Hulley and Kirkwood was employed by main contractor Galliford Try Construction, which worked in partnership with Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership. The DACHS mini-CHP installation was carried out by M&E contractor Gradwood Ltd of Stockport.

The NHS LIFT scheme is a Government initiative designed to stimulate investment in local primary and social care facilities. To date 96 new centres have been delivered nationally across England under the initiative.

The Southport Centre provides dental, wound and disease management services and diabetes / cholesterol screening, as well as sexual health and blood testing. It was highly commended in last year’s Liverpool Daily Post Regional Property Awards.

For more information visit: http://www.baxi-senertec.co.uk

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New health centre plan for Worthing

Posted on September 25, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics |

Midhurst & Petworth Observer | West Sussex PCT | 25 September 2009

A NEW health centre could be established in central Worthing if it is given the go-ahead to open in a landmark listed building.

Stereopsis Ltd, of West Parade, Worthing, is asking the borough council if it would be lawful to convert the former United Reformed Church in Shelley Road into a large polyclinic.

Agent Plainview Planning Ltd says the two existing ground-floor halls would be sub-divided to accommodate 10 consulting rooms, while a further 20 consulting rooms would be provided by creating a new first floor.

The new health centre would offer a “full range of health services”, including a retail pharmacy. 

The shell of the 1900-built listed building would be retained.

If the council issues a “lawful development certificate”, it would open the way for a full planning application to be submitted.

“This is all at a very early stage,” said Ian Woodward-Court, of Plainview Planning.

Dwindling congregations and funding forced the building to close as a church four years ago, with worshippers moving to the Emmanuel United Reformed Church in St Michael’s Road.

The building was then used as a school until two years ago.

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NHS Harrow has plans for four polyclinics

Posted on September 25, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics |

Harrow Times | By Jack Royston | NHS Narrow | 25 September 2009

THERE may be no future for poor performing, small GP practices as plans for three new polyclinics are announced.

NHS Harrow wants to make Belmont Health Centre, in Kenton Lane, the borough’s second super clinic, with Mollison Way Medical Centre, in Edgware, and one other site providing additional GP care in the east.

The “hub and spoke” model is one the organisation is thinking of creating elsewhere, with the town centre and Northwick Park Hospital as possible sites for future polyclinics.

James Walton, of NHS Harrow, said: “We need to work with our existing GPs in the area to deliver these facilities.

“We hope that GPs will want to move. If that’s not viable we will not be looking to force change through.”

He added: “I think we need to be open that we see the future of health services as being delivered out of modern facilities.

“Whether or not there’s a place for poor performing, single handed GPs in Harrow remains to be seen.”

The borough’s first polyclinic opened at the Alexandra Avenue Health and Social Care Centre in April.

If the plans go ahead, the Belmont centre will specialise in providing care for long term conditions, like diabetes, but will provide a range of other services as well.

NHS Harrow is looking at the possibility of setting up another polyclinic in the town centre with a focus on preventative care and is in talks over a fourth on the site of Northwick Park Hospital.

The new breed of clinics open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week and treat patients who are not registered as well as those who are.

They are designed to bridge the gap between hospitals and GPs by carrying out some of the more straight forward tasks that traditionally required a hospital appointment.

In the east of the borough NHS Harrow is looking at either the site of Kenmore Clinic, in Kenton, which was closed in December, or the health centre in Honeypot Lane as a second GP led practice.

Mollison Way is due to re-open with enhanced services available from 8am to 8pm in December, one month later than originally planned.

Mr Walton said: “That feels like a real step forward for people in the area.”

NHS Harrow is considering the possibility of knocking down Belmont Health Centre and creating a purpose built polyclinic on the same site if the plans go ahead.

The organisation hopes to be in a position to consult with residents by the end of the year, or at the beginning of 2010, on their east Harrow plans.

Proposals for the rest of the borough will form part of a separate consultation.

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Long-awaited polyclinic opens in Hornsey

Posted on September 25, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics, Providers |

Haringey Independent | By Tristan Kirk | NHS Haringey | 25 September 2009

THE future of healthcare in Haringey was officially unveiled today by the man with the vision behind polyclinics.

Lord Ara Darzi, the architect of the polyclinic model which is gradually being rolled out across the country, officially opened Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre, in Park Lane.

The centre is the long-awaited replacement for Hornsey Central Hospital, which was run down and under used, and was eventually shut down in 2000.

Health bosses today insisted the new centre would be a shining example for other areas of the borough and across London, and will better suit the needs of patients in the west part of Haringey.

Richard Sumray, chairman of NHS Haringey, said: “This centre is a centre for the community, not just for dealing with illness, but for wellbeing and maintaining people health.

“This has the making of being an extraordinary centre, owned by the community who have to feel they are an integral part of it.

“We still have work to do in the east of the borough, but I make no apologies for the efforts to make sure the community had a centre they needed and deserved.”

Ruth Carnall CBE, chief executive of NHS London, attended the opening, and said the long term goal is for another three polyclinics to open in Haringey which will be tailored to the medical needs of residents.

She said: “I’d like to see patients saying ‘why haven’t we got a polyclinic like they have in Hornsey?’.

“I want the people here to work with us as an exemplary model of how to do it.”

The new centre, which opened in July, boasted two GP surgeries catering for more than 15,000 patients, a specialist dementia care centre, child speech therapy teams, a sexual health clinic, and a physiotherapy suite.

Maike Hayes, a speech and language therapist who has moved with her team from Crouch End Health Centre, said she is delighted with the new facilities available to her.

She said: “The new room is triple the space that we had before.

“The space enables us to see more children within our group and provide a better service.”

Lord Darzi, who unveiled a plaque at today’s official opening, said polyclinics are especially important given the economic climate and the prospect of NHS funding cuts.

He said: “All the polyclinics are great examples through innovation of dealing with some of the challenges facing the healthcare system in the future.

“There is no single model that fits every bit of London, but all of these facilities, all of these services, are very much tailored to the needs of the local population.

“To get through the recession, we need innovation and quality. The London Framework for Action is much more relevant now for many working in the health service.”

The centre, which cost £12.75m raised through a public private partnership between NHS Haringey, the department of health, and private equity firm Elevate, will continue to add new services over the coming months until it reaches full capacity.

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Anger over plans to move walk-in centre out of town

Posted on September 24, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

Blackpool Gazette | By Emma Harris | NHS Blackpool 24 September 2009

PENSIONERS have hit out at plans to move the health walk-in centre from the middle of town and into a health super centre on Whitegate Drive.

They say re-locating the facility, which treats people with minor injuries, wounds and minor illnesses without an appointment, will mean many residents – especially the ill and disabled – will be unable to get there.

Older people are also worried that moving the walk- in centre will increase pressure on the already busy Accident and Emergency Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The walk-in centre, currently based on Talbot Road, is one of the busiest in the country and treats more than 60,000 patients each year.

Coun Doreen Holt has been working with pensioners, who do not want to see the health centre moved. She said: “They seem to forget not everybody has a car. 

“The Whitegate Drive Centre is not easy for people to get to. People will think they might as well go to the hospital and it could increase pressure on A and E.

“Many will have to catch several buses. They can’t afford to get taxis up there.

“The walk-in centre is in a prime spot now, in the town centre, easier for visitors to find and easier for everybody to get to.

“It has been said there will be more parking at Whitegate Drive, but some people can’t or don’t drive.”

Marton resident Carol Dixon, 63, is disabled and says she will really struggle to get to the new health centre.

She added: “I used to work in the town centre and people would often come in asking for first-aid or for a plaster and it was easy to direct them to the walk-in centre.

“I am disabled and can just get a bus into town and get off at the town hall and walk round the corner to the walk-in centre.

“But to get to Whitegate Drive is a lot more difficult.

I can’t afford a taxi and would have to see if a neighbour could give me a lift.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Blackpool said the move will see a major improvement in the way healthcare is delivered in the town.

She added: “Relocating this popular service will make it easier for the public to access.

“They will no longer have to travel into the town centre during busy periods, or late at night when safety is a concern – particularly for the disabled or those with young children.

“Staff safety has always been an issue for those working at the walk-in centre on Talbot Road, with reports of our healthcare professionals enduring both verbal and physical abuse from intoxicated members of the public.”

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Why are we still waiting for health centre news?

Posted on September 24, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Brighouse Echo | By Jean Trotter | Calderdale PCT | 24 September 2009

FOUR months since health chiefs promised news on the location of Brighouse’s state-of-the-art health centre, people are still waiting to hear where it will be built.

In June, a meeting in the town was told that ‘just one more piece of the jigsaw’ had to be put in place before an announcement could be made. But now campaigners have hit out at the delay – and demanded an explanation.

The location has been narrowed down to two sites – Lawson Road in the town centre where the existing health centre is or on land near Brighouse Sports and Social Club in Bradford Road, Brighouse.

Calderdale councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said despite numerous attempts to find out what was happening he was not getting any answers and he wanted to know the reason for the continuing delays.

“I understand the Brighouse health centre was discussed in July but if a decision was made there has been no announcement,” he said. “People want to know what is happening including members of Brighouse Sports Club who are keen to make plans for the future.

“Now that work has started on the new Brighouse pool the health centre is the next major development in the town. People waited 30 years for a new swimming pool and we don’t want the health centre to end up being the same.”

He said when a decision on the site was finally made it could still be a further two years before the health centre was ready for use. He understood executive board members and other key people had been on holiday but he said that was no excuse for a delay.

“I can understand that, if there are issues about commercial sensitivity involved with the final decision, it could lead to delays but I think it’s time this was in the public domain.

“We were told ward councillors would be kept informed with progress but I don’t feel this is happening. I have made numerous telephone calls, and Coun Howard Blagbrough has also been trying to find out more, but so far I have had very little response.”

Details of a new health centre were first announced early last year when plans were to build the centre at Birds Royd, Brighouse, and include facilities for GP surgeries from Rastrick, Church Lane in Brighouse, and Rydings Hall also in Brighouse.

But after Rastrick residents made it clear they did not want to lose their existing health centre at Chapel Croft, the Calderdale Primary Care Trust had a rethink and agreed the Rastrick health centre would remain.

Patients at Church Lane surgery and Rydings Hall, were asked for their views on the new location and people, who attended a Lower Valley Forum in Brighouse in June when PCT project manager James Drury gave them a progress report, made it clear they preferred the Lawson Road site.

“People in June were told just one piece of the jigsaw had to be put in place,” said Coun Stout. “I am continuing to push for more information.”

A spokeswoman for the Primary Care Trust said: “A paper regarding Brighouse Health Centre was received by the board in the private session of July’s meeting and another meeting is being held today, (Thursday), to discuss the health centre. The board has asked for additional information to provide further assurances regarding the development.”

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Andy Burnham’s preferred bidder pledge questioned

Posted on September 24, 2009. Filed under: Journals, Providers | Tags: , , |

Health Service Journal | BY REBECCA EVANS | 24 September 2009

Questions have been raised over the implications for competition and world class commissioning of health secretary Andy Burnham’s statement that the NHS is the “preferred provider” of services.

Previous Department of Health policy had been that “any willing provider” should be considered when commissioningservices.

But in a speech last week at the King’s Fund, in whichMr Burnham stressed the importance of raising quality, he said: “The NHS is our preferred provider. But it is the important job of the commissioner to test whether these services provide best value and real quality.

“Where a provider is not delivering quality – and the new accountability information will more readily demonstrate that – we will set out a clearer process that will provide an opportunity for existing providers to improve before opening up to new potential providers.”

Answering questions after his speech, he said NHS providers should be given at least one opportunity to improve before commissioners went out to tender for an alternative provider.

Unison senior national officer for health Mike Jackson told HSJ the speech was significant: “I think now there’s clarity that the NHS is the preferred provider and there ought to be co-operation before competition.”

But Primary Care Trust Network director David Stout said the speech “would potentially cross over quite a number of the co-operation and competition panel principles”.

DH spokeswoman said: “The health secretary signalled the need to clarify policy and guidance to ensure that whilst putting quality of the heart of everything we do in the NHS, staff were treated fairly by being given an opportunity to improve performance and services before commissioners considered engaging with alternative providers.”

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World class commissioning: efficiency made a core competency

Posted on September 23, 2009. Filed under: Journals | Tags: |

Health Service Journal | By Steve Ford | 23 September 2009

Assessing how effectively NHS commissioners spend their funding receives greater importance in the latest government guidance on world class commissioning.

The revised version of the world class commissioning assurance handbook says competency number 11 – ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of spending – will be assessed as a core competency.

Competency six – to prioritise investment of all spending – is revised and now also requires primary care trusts to prioritise investment in different financial scenarios.

Reflecting the current financial situation, they are the most significant of the competency changes in the programme’s assurance handbook for year two, published by the Department of Health last week.

DH acting director general of commissioning and system management Gary Belfield said: “Commissioning has never been more important given the need for greater efficiency the NHS faces.”

The changes follow a comprehensive evaluation of world class commissioning assurance by the DH plus interviews and an online survey of more than 300 PCT and strategic health authority stakeholders. The handbook says overall world class commissioning assurance had been “judged a success” and was seen to be “rigorous and stretching”, with only “fine tuning” of the framework required.

Changes to the assurances include making the description of competencies, particularly sub-competencies, clearer about how the levels equate to different standards of performance.

Governance assessments are strengthened to differentiate more clearly between red, amber and green ratings; and better metrics have been introduced for some of the national outcomes, such as mental health and health inequalities.

NHS Birmingham East and North chief operating officer Andrew Donald welcomed the changes, which he described as “very subtle”.

He said: “They have listened to everyone and tweaked year two accordingly.”

He said the addition of competency 11 to the core list was “always going to be the case”.

“We are going to have to raise our competency in that area,” said Mr Donald.

At the end of world class commissioning assurance year two, July 2010, nationally calibrated results will be published by the DH to enable comparison across PCTs and improve the sharing of good practice.

Mr Donald said: “We need to link and share the learning,” and commissioners should “steal with pride” ideas from other trusts.

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NHS ‘must decentralise’

Posted on September 22, 2009. Filed under: Journals |

Health Service Journal | 22 September 2009

The NHS must be decentralised and freed from government control if it is to thrive, according to think tank Demos.

Its report says top graduates are spurning public service because of a “vicious circle” of falling status and low morale compounded by a “crippling” lack of trust.

And it says that if staff were given more autonomy – “because they know their job better than anyone” – significant improvements to the NHS, teaching and social services would follow.

To achieve that, it says, bureaucracy must be cut, tiers of management removed and quangos such as the Audit Commission abolished.

Report author Max Wind-Cowie said: “Failure in public service stems from a failure to trust that experienced teams and individuals know best. We will get better services if we put trust back in the professionals.

“All the talk at the moment is about protecting frontline staff from cuts, but that alone won’t make the difference if we continue to treat them like untrustworthy teenagers.

“Every government has the tendency to centralise. Whoever wins the next election must do everything they can to resist that urge and let go.”

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New health centre on track

Posted on September 22, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Rochdale Online | NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale | 22 September 2009

Construction on the new health centre in the Hamer and Wardleworth area of Rochdale is progressing, with the building set to open early 2010. 

The £8.4million development on Belfield Road, which will be a hub for children’s services, will be the fourth new health centre to open in the borough as part of NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale’s plans to improve access to local health services and bring care much closer to patients’ homes. 

John Pierce, Chairman at NHS HMR said: “Building work on the new centre is progressing exceptionally well. This week we’ve had a sneak preview inside and you can see from the pictures just how impressive it looks. We look forward to getting the keys towards the end of the year so we can begin moving services in ready for our patients to benefit in the New Year.” 

Building work is due to be completed in November with services beginning to move in early 2010. 

Services at the new centre include: 

Audiology, Child Development Unit, Children’s Community Team, Children’s Physiotherapy, Children’s Occupational Therapy, Community Dentistry, Dental practice (Dr Ko’s from Baillie Street Health Centre), District Nurse Treatment Room, GP Practice (Dr Babar’s from Baillie Street Health Centre), Leg ulcer assessment, Orthoptics, Opthalmology Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (for eyes), Podiatry, Psychological therapies, base for Health Visitors, School Health Practitioners and District Nursing Team, Sexual Health and Contraceptive Services, Speech and language therapy.

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