PEOPLE are being sought to develop their local community hospital, including the Princess of Wales in Bromsgrove.
An appeal has been launched by the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust which runs the sites.
The trust says the hospitals are much-loved and valued by the communities they serve and it now wants to hear ideas and thoughts from people on how they can be developed and used even more.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “We have seven community hospitals in Worcestershire (Princess of Wales Community Hospital in Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest Ward in Kidderminster, Worcester City Inpatient Unit and the sites in Tenbury, Malvern, Evesham and Pershore) and they are a really important part of our local NHS and will continue to be into the future.”
Community hospitals have a variety of roles – they support patients who need more care than can be provided at home, but who are not too ill they need emergency care or surgery – those treatments are provided from the larger acute hospitals
They support patients after a serious illness or following major surgery, helping get them back on their feet so they can continue to recover at home, and four of the community hospitals, including Bromsgrove, have Minor Injury Units (MIUs).
MIUs are often a better alternative to A&E when injuries are not emergencies or life-threatening.
Some of the community hospitals also provide outpatient clinics, for example physiotherapy, where people get regular and ongoing support to help their rehabilitation.
How could they be improved?
Trust bosses say people tell them they want to avoid hospital wherever possible so try to deliver a local health service which helps care for more people at home.
It is investing in community ‘Neighbourhood Teams’ of nurses to provide care and treatment to patients at their homes, reducing the need for them to be in hospital unless it is absolutely necessary.
“We are also looking at how we can improve and modernise outpatients services and clinics so appointments are more effective for patients,” they added.
Such a move could change the way community hospitals have been used and, while they will traditionally continue to provide the majority of things they currently offer, local people are being asked to look at new and different services they could do to give them a bigger role in their local areas.
Community hospitals could house health clubs or activities to help people stay fit and healthy.
“They are a fantastic and much loved local resource and we want to work with local communities to get even more from them,” the bosses added.
Some events have been organised to start this conversation – The first will be between St Peter’s Baptiste Church in Worcester from 2pm to 4pm on January 16 and the second will be at Simply Limitless in Kidderminster between 10am and midday on January 31.
To book a place or find more information about the scheme, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01905 681495.