Agenda item

Community services strategy



Update from Oxford Health on the progress of the community services strategy.



Julie Mabberley, Chairman of the OX12 Pilot Population Health Care Management Project Stakeholder Reference Group, welcomed the statement in the report that Oxford Health had analysed the data and started an asset mapping and data collection exercise for all existing community services and facilities.  She hoped that the work already done on this by the reference group would not be missed in this work.


She reminded the Committee that the Stakeholder Reference Group and several of the local Councils had asked for the OX12 final report to be withdrawn as it did not reflect the work done in the project.  She welcomed the opportunity for the Stakeholder Group to engage with the Trust in the exercises being performed in the next few months to ensure that the detailed views of the residents of OX12 were taken into account.


Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Chairman of the League of Friends of Wantage Hospital, summarised the history of the hospital and described how services and bed numbers had been reduced since it had been taken over by Oxford Health, culminating in the hospital being closed for four years due to a serious maintenance problem.  She contrasted the experience with that of Wallingford Hospital which was lauded in a recent report in the Oxford Mail.  She said that as Chairman of Wantage Town Council Health Committee she looked forward to meeting with Oxford Health to discuss the Strategic Development and Quality Improvement Plan.


Councillor Jane Hanna noted the data in the report which showed a reduced need for hospital beds which had been accelerated by the pandemic and the increased emphasis on discharging to home.  However, international data had shown that the countries with the highest number of hospital beds experienced lower mortality from COVID-19.


She asked if Adult Services had been included in the county review.  She noted that there had been no engagement with the Task and Finish Group since the last Committee meeting when the decision to close the beds had come as a shock to the Group.  She welcomed the invitation to the Town Council Committee but said that there had been a lack of timeliness and hoped that this had not reduced the possibility of influencing the outcome.


Dr Ben Riley, Managing Director Primary and Community Services, Oxford Health, summarised the report.  The team had progressed matters despite the demands of time imposed by the pandemic.  A new Strategy Development Officer had been recruited.  The data from the OX12 project would certainly be included but there was not the same level of information available for other areas.


There will be a lot of alignment with the OUH Strategy which talked a lot about community and services closer to home.  The main challenge will be to bring all the information together into a delivery plan.  He noted that there was a lot of data at the county level and at the local level but something of a gap in the middle at the district level at which community hospitals operate.  He reassured the Committee that they were working with Adult Services and will, for example, map on to the reablement zones.  By the end of the year they will have an evidence pack which will lead to a strategic framework to set out the new models to move towards.


Councillor Paul Barrow presented the report from the OX12 Task and Finish Group.  They believed that a new group would be needed to scrutinise the county-wide work that was going on now and hoped that at least some members of the current group would be involved in that.  They were going to prepare a report on the OX12 process which could be of help to the new group.


The Task and Finish Group requested that the substantive change toolkit be used in relation to the proposal to close beds at Wantage, setting out the pros and cons and alternatives.  This could be brought back to the next Committee meeting.  They wanted the power to refer to remain with OJHOSC.  They were unaware that a county council level group had been formed on health and wellbeing for OX12 and believed it also required scrutiny.  They looked forward to meeting them and would also like to meet Dr Riley.


Dr Riley AGREED that they would use the toolkit and set out the pros and cons.  He was also happy to meet the Task and Finish Group.


Councillor Alison Rooke welcomed the work on health and wellbeing in OX12 being progressed and asked that it be as open, transparent and inclusive as possible.


The Chairman stated that he was happy to support the Task and Finish Group’s recommendations and asked that the meeting with the Group be prioritised.




a)            request that Oxford Health Trust completes the Substantial Change Toolkit, previously agreed between JHSOC and system partners, setting out the reasons for not opening the in-patient beds at Wantage Hospital.  This completed toolkit to be presented to the next meeting of this committee in February 2021.


b)           to ensure, through its decision making, that the power to refer to the Secretary of State a decision to close patient beds will be retained with the Oxfordshire Joint HOSC without involvement of a three county HOSC so that it can be exercised in as timely way as possible, taking account of the likely impact of new delays in the scrutiny process resulting from any decision of the County to approve terms of reference on the BOB ICS, and that the transfer of the power of first decision on referral from Oxfordshire Joint HOSC to a new three county scrutiny committee which is distant from local residents and that may only meet twice year is unfair in this context and that before any transfer of County scrutiny power is approved that the residents of OX12 and indeed all residents should be consulted. 


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