Improvements to Thornbury’s health and care services don’t go far enough, say critics

June 22 2018
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South Gloucestershire’s ruling Conservatives have taken on the lead role in commissioning future health and social care services for Thornbury.

They say their aim is to deliver improvements as quickly as possible whilst working with their partners in the NHS.  

But the Liberal Democrat group claim that the proposed changes fall short of meeting residents needs. 

If the plans get approval, they would provide between 6 and 10 rehabilitation beds in Thornbury for people unable to remain at home but who don’t need to be in an acute hospital.  

There would also be between 45 to 55 rehabilitation beds in Frenchay for people who have left hospital care but need a period of rehabilitation before returning home.  

There would be at least 72 care home beds in total across both sites including social care beds for dementia nursing. In addition, an ‘extra care’ housing scheme of 50 to 80 dwellings would be built on each site. ‘Extra Care’ housing is typically sheltered housing which also offers help with chores and personal care. 

The Conservative leader of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Toby Savage said: “The benefits to the council taking on the lead commissioner role will bring a number of important advantages to residents who need to access health and social care facilities in Frenchay and Thornbury.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to genuinely integrate health and social care – and in Thornbury’s case to go that one step further and have enhanced GP services/primary care as a key feature of the plans too. Having as many services under one roof as possible maximises the opportunity to ensure that patients are getting the right care for them to maximise their independence.”

But Thornbury councillor, Maggie Tyrrell, said: “Lib Dem councillors have been campaigning for new health and care facilities for Thornbury for years. While we welcome this latest news on rehabilitation and care services, we are concerned that no plans have yet been forthcoming to replace outpatient services currently provided by Thornbury Hospital, which is due to be decommissioned within the next few years. We would call upon the local NHS and the Council to work together to draw up plans that will address all of Thornbury’s health needs, not just one aspect of them.”

Lib Dem lead member for Heath Scrutiny, Cllr Sue Hope, said: “While we welcome any additional health services for South Gloucestershire, we must be clear that these proposals still fall far short of meeting future local health needs. The new Thornbury facility will likely see 6-10 NHS beds and around 36 beds for dementia patients within a nursing home. This in no way constitutes a ‘new hospital’ for Thornbury.”