Community Hospitals Association Achievements!


The CHA has carried out a review of its achievements over its 48 year history from 1969-2017. 


Key Headlines are:


  • We have maintained a unique database of Community Hospitals in the UK since 1885, and we update regularly and now share on our website
  • We promote the role, function, contribution and potential of community hospitals for the benefit of patients, families and communities
  • We recognise and celebrate innovations and best practice in our programme which has been running for nearly 20 years.
  • We provide opportunities for networking and sharing for all those concerned with community hospitals in our annual conferences over 48 years
  • We are now working with 5 Universities, with active research to add to the evidence base on community hospitals


Please download the report to see what has been achieved by members, partners and the committee.  Thank you for your support.



Providing Evidence to the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee




 Key Message from the CHA and Delegates: A Request for a National Strategy for Community Hospitals


 Dr Sarah Wollaston MP spoke at an annual CHA conference, sharing her experiences as a GP working in community   hospitals, and her wider brief now as an MP. She shared advice with delegates on how to raise the profile of community   hospitals. Following the discussion, Dr Wollaston invited the CHA to submit a briefing paper to the Health Select   Committee, to request an Inquiry into community hospitals.





Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee, requested submissions from the CHA, after speaking at our Annual conference.


Briefing Paper 1 - Variety of Futures for Community Hospitals and their Communities

In the paper, the CHA advised that of the 340 community hospitals, 10% had lost their inpatient beds over the past 10 years. The CHA drew attention to the variety of approaches in England - in some areas small rural hospital services in community hospitals were being dismantled, and in other areas community hospitals were an integral part of the health and care system. We spoke of the active community support for community hospitals.   Community hospital factors were summarised as: Different to Acute Hospitals, Multi-provider hubs, Enables the Creation of Community Capacity, Provides Integrated Care and Multi-Disciplinary Care, and has a Variety of Ownership and Management arrangements. The case for the inquiry was to consider the contribution of community hospitals within the aspirations of the NHS strategy in the Five Year Forward View and the policy of care closer to home. Link to Briefing Paper 1 


Briefing Paper 2 - Positively Engaging Communities 


The CHA was approached to provide an update on the paper. More information was given on the decommissioning of services in community hospitals. Also the CHA drew attention to the excellent progress being made with good working relations between communities and the local NHS in Cumbria, to develop a strong future for their community hospital services.  Link to Briefing Paper 2 


Briefing Paper 3 - International Evidence


Following further discussions with Dr Wollaston, the CHA, as requested, sent a paper outlining the evidence from other other countries who had set out a strategy and  legislation to ensure a level of provision across their countries for community hospitals and intermediate care services.  The paper also provided a further update on changes in community hospital services.  Link to Briefing 3 Paper 


Dr Wollaston responded to the CHA and said that the submissions were under consideration. Link to Letter     The Inquiries that have since taken priority for the Health Committee have included Brexit, Nursing Workforce and Childhood Obesity. We continue to communicate with Dr Sarah Wollaston.  



Providing Evidence to the Chief Executive of NHS England



 The CHA Open Letter requested a National Strategy for Community Hospitals.


  Simon Stevens spoke at an annual CHA conference, and share his appreciation of small local hospitals. He gave 3 reasons why   community hospitals were important. They were social assets, they offered humanity and compassion, and they fitted with   the new NHS. Simon Stevens said that community hospitals needed to demonstrate that they were engaged with triple   integration: health and social care; primary and specialist care; physical and mental health care. He concluded that   community hospitals were hugely important. 





Themes that encapsulated points made be delegates included: 


  • Community hospitals are part of our communities
  • Community hospitals have a wide strategic function
  • The ownership and management of community hospitals is diverse
  • The Clinical Leadership Model is Varied and Flexible
  • Community Hospitals are a Training and Learning Environment
  • Community Hospitals are Test Beds for Innovation
  • Staff are Diverse and Team-Based



The talk stimulated many questions from delegates that were captured over the weekend and were incorporated into an Open Letter.   Link to Open Letter



CHA Consultation Responses


The CHA is often called upon to provide advice and information to those involved in consultations for the future of their health and social care provision, including their community hospitals. This submission is provided as en example of the CHA work. We also provide telephone advice, and can help direct members to relevant research studies and evidence. 


CHA Response to the NEW Devon CCG Consultation "Your Future Care" and also an Executive Summary.




Swanage Hospital Dorset


The Friends of Swanage Hospital commissioned a study which considered the future of the hospital. The study was an inclusive process, involving patients, families, carers, voluntary organisations, staff, managers and commissioners.   The mission statement was agreed by all - including Councils, the church etc. 


"Swanage Community Hospital offers care of exceptional quality in a safe environment. The long tradition of healing and care is highly valued by local people, and the hospital is considered to be part of the social fabric of the community. Each patient is treated as an individual with respect and dignity by friendly and professional staff. This small local hospital is vibrant, innovative and forward-thinking, offering a wide range of services through its many partnerships across health and social care."


Read more


CHA Conference Programmes


The documents below illustrate what the CHA has to offer:


The CHA conference programme 2017 which features Professor John Young

The CHA conference programme 2016 which featured Roy Lilley, health service commentator

The CHA conference programme 2015 which featured Simon Stevens, CEO NHS England and Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee

The Challenge newsletter 66 which includes a conference report

The CHA Innovations and Best Practice Award winners