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Independent Senate supports consultation proposals

South West Clinical Senate​ supports the consultation proposals
The clinical basis for proposals put forward in the public consultation on local community health services has been supported by the independent South West Clinical Senate.

A Senate panel reviewed the evidence, questioned staff from South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, and then considered the proposals.

The panel concluded that “the proposals are well thought through” and represent a “progressive model”.

It added: “The Senate agreed that it endorses the model of care proposed by South Devon and Torbay CCG and concurs that the current historic model is not in keeping with the needs of today’s population.

“The proposals are underpinned by as much evidence as there is in this area and the direction of travel is clear, with the case for change well illustrated.

“Overall the panel agreed that they support the proposals and believe they will deliver real benefit to patients. The panel expressed confidence in the overall model and the work already begun to invest in community services.”

The Senate brings together professionals to take an overview of health and healthcare for local populations and provide a source of strategic, independent advice and leadership on how services should be designed to provide the best overall care and outcomes for patients.

At the request of NHS England, the Senate agreed to review the proposals in parallel with the public consultation.

The Senate’s independent review was carried out as part of the NHS England stage 2 assurance checkpoint, which considers whether proposals for large-scale service change meet the Department of Health’s four tests for service change.

Its report notes that “the model is very similar to community transformation elsewhere in the country but South Devon and Torbay CCG are much further ahead than other CCGs as their acute and community integration structure is already more advanced”.

The clinical review panel outlined some recommendations around documentation, primary care engagement, and project management.

It also notes risks around recruitment and pressure on primary care, and suggests that “overall confidence would be strengthened by more succinct detail outlining the model of care in terms of workforce, recruitment, timeline, activity and demand for different services, interdependencies, location of services, etc”.

Dr Nick Roberts, the CCG’s chief clinical officer, said: “We’re pleased that the Senate has supported our proposals, particularly the view that the model of care we’re proposing would bring benefits for patients.

“Twenty-three organised public meetings have been held since the 12-week consultation began 1 September, with hundreds of people giving their views.

“There is still one week before the consultation closes, so I would urge people who haven’t yet filled in the questionnaire to do so now. All views count.”

The CCG’s public consultation is asking people for their views on switching resources from bed-based hospital care to community-based care.

The consultation document and locality summary documents, including questionnaire, are available here​.

Paper copies of the document will be available in local GP practices, and they can be requested by writing to the CCG at Pomona House, Oak View Close, Torquay TQ2 7FF, emailing here or calling 01803 652511 during office hours until the deadline on 23 November.

The consultation questionnaire is hereThe Senate report is here​.