Fears have been raised by a trade union about a proposal relating to bed provision in community hospitals in a letter by the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Officials at Unison have seen a copy of the letter to the Northumbria Healthcare trust by Mike Robson, the group’s interim chief financial officer. They have written to him to outline concerns over plans for what it calls the rehabilitation post discharge block payment.
The CCG letter, also seen by the Herald, includes the following: ‘We therefore hereby provide 12 months’ notice under clause GC17 termination of our NHS standard contract that we wish to terminate all or part of the provision covered by the rehabilitation post discharge block payment given the continuation of our joint review of the related services during 2017/18, building on the work already undertaken during 2016/17.’
George Barron, Unison branch secretary, Northumbria Healthcare said: “We are seeking clarification from the CCG on the public consultation process for this matter.
“If the beds are taken out of community hospitals, I believe they would be closed. If this happened, some patients would have difficulties getting treatment at home and there would be issues for staff having to make home visits.”
A spokesman for NHS Northumberland CCG said: “The NHS in Northumberland, like many areas in England, is under considerable financial pressure.
“Together with its health and social care partners, NHS Northumberland CCG is working on the future management and design of services to ensure that Northumberland patients receive high quality care in a system that is sustainable and delivers the best value for money.
“Any proposals to significantly change services would, of course, be subject to full statutory consultation under the Health and Social Care Act.”