Posts Tagged ‘Lady Forester Nursing Home’

GP beds in Much Wenlock saved!

A month ago I ended my piece about the GP beds with the words “This may be the end of the line for the GP beds, but Much Wenlock will not give them up without a fight!”.

Well, fight we did, and we succeeded. Linda Davies presented the petition at the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Board’s meeting on 14th September. I addressed the Board, setting out the very good value for money argument and persuaded the Chair to circulate to Board members the letters written by the LoF, our MP Philip Dunne, the Town Council, Dr Wentel and by me.

I also addressed Shropshire Council’s Health & Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee on 26th September, to which CCG Board members had been summoned. We were assured by the Committee Chair that it would be reviewing all of the CCG’s proposals most carefully. The LoF, Revd Matthew Stafford and I attended the Shropshire Health & Wellbeing Board on 29th September, when the Rector made an impassioned plea to that Board for common sense to prevail.

Finally, the LoF and I both submitted questions to the CCG Board meeting on 12th October when we were pleased to learn that, as a result of another private rehabilitation beds facility being withdrawn by its provider, the decision had been take to maintain the Much Wenlock GP beds.

Whilst there is no guarantee that the beds have been saved forever, this is clearly a good outcome for Much Wenlock and the surrounding area. It is also a fine example of how our community, pulling together, can achieve great results. Not the end of the line…

GP beds at risk in Much Wenlock – update 4

This is my fourth update on the campaign to maintain the GP beds at the Lady Forester Nursing Home in Much Wenlock.

At the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Board meeting  on 14th September the Chair, Dr Julian Povey, received a petition from Mrs Linda Davies, Chair of the League of Friends of Lady Forester Nursing Home, Much Wenlock, with regards to the proposed closure of community beds at the home. The petition contained 1,423 signatures objecting to the proposed closure. Linda read a statement in support of the petition.

Cllr David Turner with members of the Lady Forester Nursing Home League of Friends

Cllr David Turner with members of the Lady Forester Nursing Home League of Friends

Dr Povey then invited me to raise my question in relation to Lady Forester Nursing Home. I had requested a number of letters from the local MP, Town Council, GP practice and Nursing Home be circulated to Governing Body Members in advance of the meeting. Dr Povey reported that unfortunately the CCG had been unable to do this prior to the meeting but it was agreed that the letters would be circulated after the meeting. I asked why the CCG was considering closing the Pathway 2 rehabilitation beds (“GP beds”) at the Lady Forester Nursing Home in Much Wenlock when they, by the CCG’s own admission, provided better value for money than the alternatives? I also enquired about consultation – I was pleased to read in the policy document that consultation would include engaging with patients, carers, the public and other stakeholders and asked how the CCG intended to consult and at what point in what seemed to be a very short time-frame of four weeks? Also for how long and by what means?

The Chief Executive, David Evans acknowledged that the CCG was in a very difficult financial situation and needed to undertake a process to look at potential areas for disinvestment/decommissioning. Mr Evans emphasised that no decisions had been made in relation to the Lady Forester Nursing Home beds and that the process continued to be followed. Dr Julie Davies reported that the Task & Finish Group was working through stage 4 of the Decommissioning and Disinvestment Interim Policy and that part of the process would be to agree and undertake engagement and consultation on a service-by-service basis as required.

This provided little comfort, and I was therefore pleased that, on 6th October, the League of Friends turned up to Shropshire’s Health & Wellbeing Board meeting held in Shrewsbury.

Cllr David Turner, representatives of the League of Friends and Revd Matthew Stafford outside the Health & Wellbeing Board meeting in Shrewsbury

Cllr David Turner, representatives of the League of Friends and Revd Matthew Stafford outside the Health & Wellbeing Board meeting in Shrewsbury

Much Wenlock’s Team Rector, Revd Matthew Stafford, made a statement about local care and his personal experiences of rehabilitation beds locally and their value across a range of measures.

Much Wenlock Team Rector, Revd Matthew Stafford, addresses the Health & Wellbeing Board

Much Wenlock Team Rector, Revd Matthew Stafford, addresses the Health & Wellbeing Board

Both the League of Friends and I have put written questions to the next meeting of the CCG, which is to be held at 9:30am on Wednesday 12th October at Shrewsbury Town Football Club. This is not a public meeting, but a meeting held in public. Members of the public may attend.


GP beds at risk in Much Wenlock – update 2

This is the second update on my campaign to maintain the GP beds at the Lady Forester Nursing Home in Much Wenlock. Updated information is now coming thick and fast

This morning I spoke on the BBC Radio Shropshire breakfast programme with Eric Smith and Clare Ashford and you can hear what I said at 2:19. This link will be in place until 22nd September.

I’ve also now had an exchange of views with Dr Wentel of Much Wenlock & Cressage Medical Practice who said “Your comments and summary regarding the history of the beds are really fantastic and I would whole-heartedly support them”. In respect of the threat, he went on to say “It would be the loss of a valuable resource were they to close, which in the current climate of trying to promote care in the community and avoiding hospital admission just doesn’t make long-term sense”.


GP beds at risk in Much Wenlock – update 1

This is the first update on my campaign to maintain the GP beds at the Lady Forester Nursing Home in Much Wenlock.

I will have a meeting with Prof Rod Thomson, Shropshire Council’s Director of Public Health, this week. I have a meeting scheduled next week with Philip Dunne MP. I have put a paper to Much Wenlock Town Council (of which I am a member) asking that this be considered at their meeting on 1st September – at 7:00pm in the Guildhall. Specifically, I am proposing:

  1. The Town Council considers its position on the potential closure of the GP beds facility and
  2. The Town Council considers what action it will take to support the maintenance of the GP beds and any other actions in respect of the CCG’s financial challenges and
  3. The Town Council delegates authority to the Town Clerk and/or others to ensure that its aims are met.

I have written to David Evans, Accountable Officer of the CCG, setting out my opposition to the proposed sacrifice of the GP beds and asking to meet him.

I have written a letter to the Bridgnorth Journal with a similar message. I’m hoping that the Bridgnorth Journal will be running stories on this in the next week.

I am expecting to speak on BBC Radio Shropshire tomorrow morning at 08:15 on the Eric Smith and Clare Ashford breakfast programme on BBC Radio Shropshire tomorrow morning.

I have visited the Lady Forester Nursing Home to update myself on the current developments – a lot has taken place since English Care acquired the home in 2010.

David Turner and Jennifer English

David Turner meets Jennifer English at Lady Forester Nursing Home

I understand that the League of Friends have placed a petition in a number of shops in Much Wenlock and the medical practice, and it is receiving considerable support.

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 showing the subject as “Lady Forester GP beds”.

Update 1

Update 2

Update 3

Update 4

Lady Forester Nursing Home – history

David Turner

Woodhouse Farm
Much Wenlock
TF13 6NZ

01952 728802
Shropshire Council
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.