Community Hospitals: Debunking Common Myths for a Healthier Perspective  Unveiling the Real Story Behind Community Hospitals

Dr Kirsten Protherough    Chair & Director of the Community Hospitals Association

In the realm of healthcare, community hospitals are often subject to misconceptions that cloud their true purpose and capabilities. The Community Hospital Association UK sheds light on these institutions, aiming to dispel common myths and bring clarity to their essential role in local healthcare. 

Myth #1: Community Hospitals Offer Limited Services

Reality: Far from merely providing basic services, community hospitals are comprehensive healthcare hubs, delivering a diverse range of medical, nursing, and therapeutic services. Their offerings are finely tuned to address the specific healthcare needs of the local community, ranging from routine check-ups to specialized post-operative care and rehabilitation services.

Myth #2: Community Hospitals Lack Professional Expertise 

Reality: The dedicated healthcare professionals staffing community hospitals bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. From skilled doctors and nurses to therapists and support staff, these institutions are home to professionals committed to ensuring that patients receive top-notch care. Their expertise often extends to specialized areas, contributing to a holistic approach to wellness.

Myth #3: Community Hospitals Are Only for Minor Ailments

Reality: Contrary to the notion that community hospitals are limited to minor ailments, they are fully equipped to manage a broad spectrum of medical conditions. With advanced healthcare technology and collaborative efforts with larger medical centers, these hospitals offer acute and chronic care, diagnostic services, and even emergency care, minimizing the need for patients to travel long distances for treatment.

Myth #4: Community Hospitals Are Becoming Obsolete

Reality: On the contrary, community hospitals are evolving to meet the changing needs of local populations. They integrate modern healthcare practices, leverage cutting-edge technologies, and actively engage in community wellness programs. Positioned at the forefront of preventive care and health education, community hospitals showcase ongoing relevance in the contemporary healthcare landscape. 

Myth #5: Community Hospitals Lack Connectivity with Larger Medical Centers

Reality: Far from isolated entities, community hospitals are integral components of the broader healthcare network. They maintain robust connections and referral systems with larger medical centers, ensuring a smooth transition for patients in need of specialized care. This collaborative approach fosters a continuum of care, with community hospitals serving as vital nodes in the healthcare ecosystem.

In conclusion, community hospitals are dynamic institutions with a crucial role in delivering healthcare tailored to local needs. Dispelling these myths allows for a more nuanced understanding of the multifaceted contributions community hospitals make to the overall well-being of the communities they serve.

Download the blog here 




 Thoughts from Evelyn Prodger RN QN MSc BSc(Hons) 

Evelyn is the lead for Quality Improvement for the CHA, and led the study on the contribution of community hospitals during COVID-19, funded by the Health Foundation/Q Community through their Q Exchange programme.  The study concluded that community hospitals were shown to be responsive, integrated, flexible, creative, compassionate and resilient. Evelyn discusses these characteristics and draws on case studies and experience to explore what this means for patients, local people, staff and the overall health and care system. 

Evelyn writes: Community Hospitals have not always had the recognition they deserve or had their voice heard but our Health Foundation funded project "Community Hospitals: Embedding Covid-19 positive impact changes through shared learning" demonstrated that the rest of the system has a lot to learn from Community Hospitals.  As the health and care system continues to face crises about Delayed Transfer of Care, elective waiting times and staffing it is important to remember that to be effective the systems need all the component parts working at their optimum. Bold leadership, flexibility and creativity and fundamental characteristics of Community Hospitals making them well placed to be responsive in its fullest sense."

Download the blog here 


Going the Extra Mile for Insch

Chris Humphris

Chris Humphris has been working with the local community in Insch on the future of their community hospital. He writes "I hope that I have been able to help a number of local groups over recent years. I feel passionately that the NHS should not simply write off the beds in a small Community hospital. Instead, they should always seek to work with the local community to come up with the best possible arrangements for the future. In this way they can tap into the passion, enthusiasm and downright creative thinking and skills to produce something positive. These days, we need it!"  To read Chris' blog in full, please download here

Bold Leadership 

Evelyn Prodger RN QN MSc BSc(Hons) writing in a personal capacity

Evelyn writes about the need for bold leadership to support patient safety, personal development and innovation. Download this blog in full here     Download the Resource Pack on Leadership in Community Hospitals here

Inspiring and motivating leadership for the future workforce 

Ifunanya A Obi (a.k.a Nanya), Practice Development Nurse

Nanya writes about her experience of inspiring future nurse leaders.  To read more about Nanya's programme in her blog, please download  here 

The Vital Contribution of our Community Hospitals

Dr Kirsten Protherough  Chair & Director of the Community Hospital Association

Kirsty makes the case that now, more than ever before, Community Hospitals should be included in key decisions regarding the future of healthcare in the UK. Read the full article here  

Can Scotland deliver NHS reform in 2023?     

Dr Alastair Noble CHA Committee Member & CHA Lead for Scotland. 

Alastair advocates a system which can deliver the best current clinical care for each individual with an integrated health and social care team in each locality and have clinical agreement between the Specialist Consultants and the General Practitioners. Read Alastair's paper for the CHA here   and his for Reform Scotland  here  

Anna Mitchell

Care in a Community Hospital – what it looks like in 2022

Sue Greenwood   Matron  Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and CHA Committee member

March 2022 I would like to share what I believe the Community Hospital offer in 2022, could be, and how you could continue to lead innovation and best practice as a Clinical Matron.

Read more

Anna Mitchell

A Pioneering Scheme - Meaningful Activities Coordinator 

Anna Mitchell. Lead "Meaningful Activities Coordinator" at Launceston Community Hospital. Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

January 2022

Before joining the NHS I worked in social media and advertising for many years, supporting local businesses in and around Launceston...

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Evelyn Prodger

What a difference a year makes!

Evelyn Prodger. RN Queens Nurse MSc BSc(Hons) CHA Committee Member.

2020 brought with it more challenges than any of us anticipated when we were mulling over our New Year Resolutions...

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Emma Finlay

An Exciting Future in Advance Clinical Practice

Emma Finlay ( Advance Nurse/ Clinical Practitioner. Arundel Hospital. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

There are approximately 94,000 people aged 65 to 74 years and a further 89,000, aged 75 and over in West Sussex...

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Emma Finlay

COVID-19 - A Reflection

Steffi Bailey - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Clinical Lead
Leslie Smith Ward, Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

As restrictions on all of our lives started to come into effect in late March due to COVID-19...

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Sandra Speller

Let's Not Panic About Training In A Pandemic!

Sandra Speller. Physiotherapist and Professional Head of Therapies. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

The role of community trusts at the height of the pandemic is perhaps a little under-appreciated...

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Julia Fairhall. Area Head of Nursing and Governance. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Staying Connected

Julia Fairhall. Area Head of Nursing and Governance. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

My role as Area Head of Nursing is to lead on aspects of professional practice, patient safety, quality...

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Sheila Doughty. Area Therapy Lead, Horsham Hospital

Learning in the time of Coronavirus

Sheila Doughty. Area Therapy Lead, Horsham Hospital

During the corona virus pandemic I have been extremely lucky to have been working as a physiotherapist...

Read more

Helen Rowe. Senior Ward Sister.

South Petherton Community Hospital, Somerset

Helen Rowe. Senior Ward Sister.

At South Petherton community hospital we are working hard on keeping our patients as safe...

Read more

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