A proposal to cut inpatient beds for people with learning difficulties in order to reinvest the money into community services has been proposed.
Health chiefs at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have given the go ahead for a consultation on the proposals.
Under the plans all 10 beds are at The Hollies at the Cavell Centre in Bretton Gate, Peterborough, and all six beds at the IASS ward on the Ida Darwin site in Fulbourn, will be removed, with five new beds commissioned at a location yet to be chosen.
This would leave a total of five beds commissioned by the CCG and the Learning Disability Partnership in the county to be used for people with a learning disability and/or autism.
Dr Gary Howsam, GP chair and chief clinical officer of the CCG, said: “People with a learning disability have the right to the same opportunities and to have the same expectations as anyone else. However, in many cases people with a learning disability spend a significant amount of time in hospital, in some cases many years, when they could be living fulfilling lives in their local community.
“We feel that, in line with the national Transforming Care Programme, the proposals would improve patients’ experiences and deliver better clinical outcomes for people with learning disabilities.
“By reducing the number of inpatient beds locally we will be able to reinvest the money we will save into enhanced community teams and a crisis management service which is not hospital-based. We feel that this will help to improve the quality of life of people with learning disabilities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”
Removing 11 beds will free up £1.035 million to be reinvested in community services.
The extended community services offered as a result of the changes would include, according to the CCG:
. Out of hours support as required from a unified, integrated team across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire;
. A crisis house, for when the reason for hospital admission is a breakdown of a social care placement only due to changes in Clinical Needs.
. Out of CCG area placements for specialist needs (1-5 placements maximum)
Enhanced adult autism services.
The consultation starts today (Friday, August 10) and will close at 5pm on Friday, September 28. Full details of the consultation are available on the CCG’s website at www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk.