The Shropshire CCG’s Community Services Review was launched with the intent to cut costs of community services. The initial report that is being discussed by the CCG Governing Body today (October 11) concludes that ‘change’ is necessary. The conclusions imply the closure of our rural Minor Injuries Units (MLUs) and all beds in our Community Hospitals. In practice, that means the closure of Community Hospitals.
The GP Partners at the two Ludlow practices have issued this statement challenging the review on the eve of the Governing Body meeting.
Letter to the press on behalf of the partners of Portcullis and Station Drive Surgery, Ludlow
The partners of Ludlow medical practices are surprised by the public launch of the community services review in the media where it has been announced that a working document will be discussed in the CCG Board meeting tomorrow. We feel this discussion is premature as the data used in this working document is still incomplete and can be potentially misleading and may lead to bias. A number of requests have been made to the CCG to improve the data so that it is more accurate, more representative and less subject to potential bias and many of our requests have been ignored.
Dr Catherine Beanland, has been involved in the process of the community services review and it has been made clear to her on several occasions that community services are seen by some members of the CCG as too expensive. We do not believe this is the case as many areas such as South Shropshire that rely heavily on community services do not spend more money in the overall, wider health economy.
Repeatedly, we have been told that it is unfair that Shrewsbury patients do not have similar access to community services and hospitals in their area. We would respond that Shrewsbury patients have excellent access to an acute district hospital that is at their doorstep so they do not need community hospital beds as much as South Shropshire patients.
We believe that statistics and data in the document are being used in a misleading and biased way in order to favour the closure of some or all community hospitals. As rural doctors we feel It is unfair for our patients to have to travel 30 miles to the nearest acute hospital without any consideration of their local needs.
If the CCG uses this misleading and biased data in order to cause the closure of Ludlow Hospital and therefore save money while at the same time improving access further for Shrewsbury patients to community hospital beds we feel this would an incredibly unfair thing for the CCG to do and the partners at Ludlow will not accept this without a fight.
We want to make it clear that we are not happy with the accuracy of the working document published by the community services review group and that we do not feel that the views of all doctors in the group or their suggestions for improvement have been acted upon. Therefore we are considering potentially disengaging with the group as we have lost confidence in the CCG’s ability to be fair and unbiased in their documentation.
Drs Beanland, Cook, Farnell, Harris, Morton, and Yarham
GP Partners in Ludlow