Pioneering NHS, local authority and community project makes recommendations for health and care services

February 2020 was the culmination of a pioneering project in which people from the Holsworthy area, over the last 18 months, have directly influenced the development of bespoke services.

The results are the Holsworthy Community Involvement Group (HCIG) recommendations, which were unveiled at a public meeting held at Holsworthy Memorial Hall on 18 February 2020.

Working together with local people

Over 1,200 local residents have directly influenced the recommendations, with 1,155 people responding to a survey, and 100 people attending face-to-face focus groups.

The need for end of life care was identified as an early priority, which prompted the group to officially request that the NHS consider interim bed provision for the town and local area. Three beds opened at Deer Park in early 2019, the occupancy rate has gradually increased and is currently up to about 50 per cent.

The group also asked the NHS to contact their counterparts in Cornwall to see if additional beds at nearby Stratton Hospital could be used. Four beds now subject to a 12-week trial to better understand need for bed-based provision as part of the overall local care offer. If a need is identified, then beds at the hospital could be commissioned in the longer term.

Four-fold increase in appointments

The community team continues to look after about 500 people at any one time in their own homes. This excludes those receiving social care.

Holsworthy hospital now sees more than 2,000 outpatient appointments a month compared to 500 in 2017. This includes new services such as those for chronic kidney disease, depression and anxiety and multiple sclerosis.

In addition, there are about 50 health and care staff providing care in the local community to rehabilitate patients, avoid admissions, help people to get home from hospital safely and quickly – and promote independence.

The group presented the recommendations at a public meeting in February. Watch BBC Spotlight’s coverage of the event below.