GP beds at risk in Much Wenlock

Only six years after I chaired  Much Wenlock Town Council’s campaign to save the Lady Forester Nursing Home from sale and development for housing, the Pathway 2 rehabilitation beds (or, as we know them locally, the four GP beds) are now under threat.

David Turner

Cllr David Turner outside Lady Forester Nursing Home

The Governing Body Of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) met on 10th August. Effectively, this is the board of directors of the organisation responsible for our local healthcare services. It is led by family doctors in Shropshire’s 44 GP practices and is responsible for buying a wide range of health services for their patients. Their website says “We are committed to involving the people of Shropshire in all major decisions about developing healthcare in the county.”

On page 93 (of 234 pages) of the agenda of their meeting is the “Disinvestment and Decommissioning Decision Paper”. It opens by saying:

“Due to the current challenging financial climate, it is important for the CCG to demonstrate that it is making the most effective use of public money to commission the right care, in the right place, at the right time within the context of our resources, and in order to deliver our statutory responsibilities, and meet the needs of the Shropshire population. To achieve this, effective commissioning arrangements and strong performance management are essential to meet these challenges, and secure the best possible healthcare for our local population.”

Tucked away on page 131 of the agenda it specifically mentions our nursing home, saying:

“Lady Forrester [sic] is located within The Much Wenlock area and the beds were initially commissioned as a local project created by GP’s 10 years ago to support patients to access resources within their own community post hospital discharge and for admission avoidance. The beds over the last 12 months have run at 100% occupancy and are a resource to support ICS with admission avoidance.”

Despite recognising that good care is provided more cheaply here than at community hospitals, closing this service in Much Wenlock:

“….In an ‘ideal world’ the recommendation would be to actually disinvest from the more costly community hospital resource. The reality is however that in the interests of expediency to release money in year the removal of the four independent beds from the system is the only option to rapidly release finances.

In other words, our valued and value-for-money facility is likely to be sacrificed for a quick financial fix to get the CCG out of a hole. I am firmly against this proposal and, over the coming days, will be pulling together some proposals to save this invaluable resource for the wider community.

You can post comments here, or message me, but I’d find it quicker and easier if you were to email me with your thoughts at david.turner@shropshire.gov.uk showing the subject as “Lady Forester GP beds”.

Update 1

Update 2

Update 3

Update 4

Lady Forester Nursing Home – history

10 Responses to “GP beds at risk in Much Wenlock”

  • Henry Milward:

    In 1989 as Company Secretary to the Nursing Home -we were involved in saving these GP beds for the town.
    To loose them now would be a travesty.
    We achieved it then, we must again.

    • davidturner:

      Henry,

      Thanks for your support – we’re raising this issue on a number of fronts. Watch this space – and the Shropshire Star, BBC etc.

  • Arthur Hill:

    My Father spent the last month of his life in one of the GP beds, his care was fantastic and it vindicated his fight to have these beds ring fenced when we went through the upheavals of the Lady Forester hospital.
    These beds are the last connection that our town has with a great tradition of local care.
    Are we up for a fight ? You bet! We have done it once we can do it again. Here we are dealing with a group who are trying to make short term gains and not sorting out the underlying problem. Who locally do they answer to? No one. I am not sure they are fit for purpose. Leave cost effective care alone and sort the big issues if you are competent to do so.

  • Lesley Durbin:

    Can I remind the Shropshire CCG that ‘care’, whether post hospital discharge or for admission avoidance is not a matter of financial ‘expediency’, for the vulnerable, and we are all vulnerable whatever ever our age or circumstances when we are ill or elderly, it is a matter of dignity and well being. The Commissioning Group has already noted that the four beds at the Lady Forester Nursing Home are value for money, given that is the case then the CCG have no right to rob those in need of the care they require. Our large NHS Hospitals are excellent at providing clinical and surgical services but they are woefully poor at providing care to the elderly, the terminally ill and the post operative patient. Please allow those who know how to care to provide this service for our community.
    Mrs Lesley Durbin, [address provided] Much Wenlock

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David Turner


Woodhouse Farm
Wyke
Much Wenlock
TF13 6NZ

01952 728802

david.turner@shropshire.gov.uk
Shropshire Council
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