University of Birmingham

Summary of Research Study

Community hospitals are known and valued by their local communities, and play an important part in responding to both health and social care needs of local populations. Given the lack of research into the wider role that CHs may play in the communities in which they are located, this is a key focus of our study.

This study seeks to:

1. Construct a national database and develop a typology of CHs
2. Explore and understand the nature and extent of patients experiences of community hospital care and services
3. Investigate the value of the interdependent relationship between CHs and their communities.

We are doing this through a mapping exercise creating a database of numbers, location, size, age, services. We are working in nine case studies examining and comparing community hospitals in England, looking at patient experience and the ways in which local communities are involved with their local hospitals.  The research is being conducted over a period of 36 months and started in July 2014.

We are involving service users, carers and local community members throughout the research. We are well placed to conduct this research because we have a multi-disciplinary team combining expertise from the University of Birmingham, Crystal Blue Consulting and the Community Hospitals Association.

Key Steps

  • Mapping community hospitals
  • Patient experience of community hospital care
  • Community engagement
  • 9 community hospitals in England as case studies