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Throughout the consultation we will provide answers to questions raised by members of the public, whether in correspondence or at public meetings. It would not be practical to include all questions but we shall ensure that the most commonly asked are included on this page, which will be updated weekly.

For ease, these questions are divided into sections: general care; staff; process; money; transport; and location.​​

FAQ - general care

GPs are already under pressure so how can you expect them to support intermediate care services?
The plan is for specific medical support to be contracted and available to intermediate care teams and so this will not increase the burden on local GPs. Part of the plans is to ensure that people access the appropriate support and this could be from a local community group, a nurse or other health professional. This holistic, team approach means that pressure on GPs is likely to reduce as people access support from elsewhere.

Community hospitals are really important in helping to look after elderly who live alone. What will happen if they are not there?
People on average stay in community hospitals for just 15 days and so these are not the answer to social isolation or for elderly people who live alone. Our plans to strengthen community based care is designed to support people in their own homes and to work with partner agencies and local communities to do more to break down social isolation. Many people can also feel isolated from their friends and family when in hospital.

The full list of general care questions is here.

FAQ - process

What impact will the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) have on the consultation proposals? Will they be changed by a Devon-wide approach?
Our proposals for reshaping community services predate the STP and therefore the latter will have no impact. The STP reflects what both we and NEW Devon CCG are currently doing and builds on that for the future.

One aspect of the STP does deal further with concerns raised in consultation – that not enough is being done to combat waste in the NHS. The STP provides a framework for the two CCGs to be working even more closely together to do things only once across Devon and to avoid duplication.

Should any potential service reconfiguration changes come out of the STP then they will have to go through a formal consultation process before they can be implemented.

What are the timescales for moving to the new services if they are approved?
We have made the commitment that the current services will continue to operate until the new ones are in place. In some cases – intermediate care for example – the Trust is already recruiting staff as we know this service is essential. Some changes will be able to be implemented fairly swiftly from April 2017 but others that might depend on building work to co-locate health and wellbeing teams with GP practices might take longer.

The full list of process questions is here.

FAQ - location

Why can’t Ashburton be used as a hub or host the health and wellbeing centre?
We need to use the money we have prudently and there is a limit to the investment which we can make. It is estimated that up to £800,000 would need to be invested to bring the hospital up to modern day standards. We need to decide whether investing so much in a building is the best use of the funds we have available and whether the hospital is in the right location to be a health and wellbeing centre. We are happy to listen to suggestions as to how this could be funded so as to ensure long term viability.

The full list of location questions is here.

FAQ - staff

Within the £5m re investment how much is allocated to additional carers for Dartmouth and how does that translate to numbers of additional staff and additional beds in care homes?
We predict that we will require an additional four care home beds for Dartmouth. The Reablement and Intermediate Care teams will be working flexibly across the Moor to Sea locality, therefore details for individual towns are indicative. We have recruited an additional 11 WTE (whole time equivalent) intermediate care staff for Moor to Sea at a cost of £343,663.

If we split this out based on the 65+ population in Moor to Sea, the proportion of investment for Dartmouth would be £96,226; increasing Intermediate Care staffing from 1.42WTE to 3.04WTE.

We have also invested an additional £650,000 in our reablement teams and a further £160,000 in weekend working for intermediate care across Torbay and South Devon.

The full list of staff questions is here.

FAQ - money

Can you guarantee the savings will go into community services and that it is enough money to support the proposals?
We have made it clear that all the savings other than £1.4m which contributes to the CCG’s deficit will be allocated to community services. The sums being invested strengthen our community teams and are in line with our plans to deliver more community based services. We would always like to have more money and to be able to do more but the £5.1m investment being made, subject to the consultation outcome, is a major step forward.

Has the new housing being built been taken into account and what are you doing to get S106 monies?
Our planning processes take into account these changes and we do everything we can to attract funds from a variety of sources to support services in this area.

The full list of money questions is here.

FAQ - transport

How will you guarantee that people will be able to get to the MIUs at Totnes and Newton Abbot and can they cope with increasing demand?
We believe that both hospitals have the capacity to deal with increased patient attendances and our aim is to treat more people in or near their own homes so the increase will not be huge. Where people do not have their own transport and meet eligibility criteria, patient transport will assist and the Trust is also talking to voluntary groups to see how they might provide more transport support. The NHS cannot solve geographic and transport problems on its own but we will work with partners to try and ameliorate these issues.

Why are you removing both MIUs from the Bay where travel is difficult?
We believe MIUs work best when there are also x-ray facilities available and there is a shortage of radiographers. We believe it is better to have them concentrated in fewer areas, open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, in places which can support all parts of our community. By having them in Totnes and Newton Abbot they can service people in the Bay as well as people from rural moorland areas. We are talking to GP practices about providing a minor injuries service in some areas.

The full list of transport questions is here.