BJGP Conference - Talk by Dr David Seamark
As a member of the Birmingham Project Team, Dr David Seamark delivered a talk on the reducing number of GPs involved in community hospitals, as identified in the study. He spoke of the many factors that had led to this change, and illustrated these factors with quotes from GPs and Trust Doctors who had been interviewed. The talk stimulated a number of questions which were answered by David and Helen Tucker. The talk prompted discussion beyond the session. Dr Roger Jones, Editor of the BJGP, said that it was an issue "close to his heart," having been Secretary of the Community Hospitals Association (previously the Association of GP Hospitals). David Seamark is drafting an article on this for the BJGP with contributions from the team.
For more information on the BJGP conference, please follow the link
Community Hospitals in England (download excel spreadsheet here)
In 2014, the research team at the University of Birmingham undertook a mapping exercise in England, to help identify the overall number of community hospitals, their location and their characteristics (services and key activities). Data used was provided by the English Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) for 2012/13 which gave a list of all hospitals in England. Community hospitals were identified using a ‘site of treatment code’ (medical speciality) which, combined with size (number of beds), differentiated them from other forms of hospitals. In 2015, the HSCIC list of hospitals was reconciled and with other datasets from the Community Hospitals Association (CHA), the Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) and NHS Estates Returns Information Collection(ERIC). The final list shows known community hospitals with beds as of September 2015, but services and activities relate to 2012/13 levels.
The 3 pages on the excel spreadsheet are:
The research team acknowledge the rapid changes in community hospitals over the period of the study. Changes include changes in services, ownership and provider organisations. A number of community hospitals have since closed inpatient wards, or closed altogether. The CHA regularly updates the list, and makes this accessible on the website through googlemaps.
The team of researchers at the University of Birmingham have just completed the first draft of their report on community hospitals, and this has now been submitted to the NIHR. The team has been led by Professor Jon Glasby, with the project manager, Deborah Davidson. When published, this will make new contributions to the knowledge on community hospitals.
It's Personal - Understanding Patient Experiences of Community Hospitals
Deborah Davidson, Angela Ellis-Paine and Nick Le Mesurier gave a presentation of initial findings of the interviews with patients, carers, staff volunteers and community in 9 community hospitals. This was given at the 2017 CHA conference and is available to download here
Professor Jon Glasby recorded a talk on the role of community hospitals which is available here.
In this talk, Jon Glasby says that community hospitals have a key role to play, and says that if community hospitals don't have the answer then in one sense, who does. Jon Glasby talks of the challenging policy context, but also says that this is an opportunity to think through:
What role do we play
What are we good at
What do we value
How do we mainstream that
How can we be proactive and be on the front foot
The talk is a valuable contribution to the discussions at the conference on the strategic role of community hospitals, and the future of this model of service.
Deborah Davidson and Angela Ellis-Paine gave a presentation at the CHA conference in May 2016 which provided an update on the progress of the study. They also ran a workshop for delegates to help define community hospitals, identify characteristics, and discuss types of community hospitals.
The team publishes a regular newsletter setting out progress on the study.
Daiga Kamerāde and John Mohan from the Third Sector Research Centre at University of Birmingham analysed the financial support received by community hospitals. They concluded that"Community hospitals receive a substantial financial support from their communities; however, this support has been declining is sensitive to macroeconomic changes - while it is generous during economic growth, it can substantially decline during economic recessions."
The University of Birmingham offers an opportunity for opinions to be shared through a"viewpoint" area on their website.
"Local people clearly have confidence in their local hospital service, and when creating community capacity to enable more people to be treated outside of acute hospitals, this would seem to be a strong basis to build on."
A briefing paper was prepared by Helen Tucker to inform a debate in the House of Commons on the future of community hospitals, and this was shared across the Health Services Management Cantre of the University of Birmingham.
"The way that local people demonstrate their trust in their community hospital and the way they value the service may be viewed as a credit to the local NHS and a significant achievement. Ideally this should indicate that community hospitals are a positive platform for community-based services, and can serve the role as a hub for integrated health and social care."