Monthly Archives: May 2014

Come along to have your say on better care for the vulnerable and elderly in South Tees: a public consultation on proposed changes to community services

People in the South Tees area are being urged to have their say on the local Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) proposals (known as the IMProVE programme) to provide better care for the vulnerable and elderly.

Last month, South Tees CCG launched a public consultation on its proposals and next week sees the first of five public meetings where people can come along and find out more.

The first public consultation meeting will take place on Wednesday 4 June 2014 at Eston Civic & Learning Centre, Normanby Road, Eston, Middlesbrough  TS6 9AE from 5.30pm until 7.00pm.

Dr Henry Waters, Chair of South Tees CCG said: “It is very important that we hear the views of local people and our consultation meetings are an excellent opportunity to come along and find out more about our proposals.

“If you are unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting in Eston, there are another four meetings planned before the consultation ends on 31 July 2014.  Further details, including a range of important documents are available at or for further information please call 01642 745318.”

The IMProVE consultation – improving services for the elderly, vulnerable and those with long-term health conditions

The consultation follows two years’ of discussions with GPs, hospital professionals and local authority partners to consider a more responsive and joined-up approach to caring for the growing population of older patients with long-term conditions and other care needs.  In the South Tees area, the number of people aged over 65 will increase by 20 per cent by 2021.

As part of this process, the CCG also talked to over 400 stakeholders, patients and carers to find out more about the type of services they need and how they should be organised in the future.

Dr Henry Waters, Chair, NHS South Tees CCG said: “It’s really good news that people are living longer.  The challenge for the NHS is that older people have more ill health than other groups and we have to put the right services, in the right place to meet people’s needs into the future.”

At the moment, elderly and vulnerable people in the South Tees area are admitted to hospital more frequently than those in other parts of the country and spend longer there than they need to because we do not currently have enough support available in the community.   The CCG and its partners would like to provide more care close to home or in patients’ own homes.   

Dr Vincent Connolly, consultant at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Too many of our most vulnerable patients end up in hospital when they could have remained independent and in their own homes.  We need to ensure that health and social care services work together in a more joined-up way to provide more help for elderly people in their own communities.”

Working with the Foundation Trust, the CCG also plans to develop stroke rehabilitation services to ensure that they meet national best practice guidance.

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, local GP and CCG lead said: “We know that stroke patients recover much better if they receive rehabilitation in their own home.  Those who need hospital care should be treated in a specialist stroke rehabilitation unit.  This does not happen in South Tees at the moment.   Local patients should have access to the same quality and standard of care as other areas of the country.”

As part of its proposal the CCG will invest in a range of community-based services including:

  • stroke rehabilitation and community stroke teams to provide more support in patients’ own homes or in community locations
  • a single point of contact for all community and social care services
  • more rehabilitation, outpatient and diagnostic services
  • consolidation and enhancement of minor injury services

By implementing these proposed changes and delivering more care in patient’s homes, our community estate needs will change including less dependency on community beds.   We know that many of our current community buildings are not sustainable for the future and require significant capital investment to bring them up to a standard which could support the delivery of our model of care. Last year, nearly two million pounds was spent on empty space across our four community hospitals.  We continue to incur high maintenance and repair costs for some of our estate.

The CCG and partners considered a wide range of factors in developing the best option for meeting the needs of elderly and vulnerable people, as well as those with long term conditions. These included national best practice guidance, capacity and use of existing services, the skilled workforce available, the standard, location and running costs of our current hospitals and transport issues.

People are being urged to have their say by filling in the CCG’s questionnaire, which is available online at  or by coming along to one of five public drop-in events (details below).   

Notes to editors

NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working in partnership with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and with Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland local authorities to improve services for the vulnerable, elderly and those with long-term conditions in our area.

This improvement programme is the Integrated Management and proactive Care for the Vulnerable and Elderly (IMProVE).  NHS South Tees CCG are now proposing to make some changes and improvements at local community hospitals, including changes to minor injury services provided from these. 

A formal public consultation to seek views on the proposals begins on Wednesday 30April 2014. No decision will be made until the end of the consultation which will close on Thursday 31 July 2014.

Public drop-in events

4 June 2014, 5.30pm-7.00pm.  Eston – Civic & Learning Centre, Normanby Road, Eston, Middlesbrough, TS6 9AE

11 June 2014, 5.30pm-7.00pm.  Brotton – Freebrough Enterprise Centre, Linden Road, Brotton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 2SJ

18 June 2014, 5.30-7.00pm.  Guisborough – Methodist Church, 67-69 Westgate, Guisborough, North Yorkshire, TS14 6AF

2 July 2014, 5.30-7.00pm.  Middlesbrough – Acklam Green Centre, Stainsby Road, Middlesbrough, TS5 4JS

Governing Body meeting

Our next Governing Body, open to the public, will be held 2pm on Wednesday 28 May at Acklam Green Centre, Middlesbrough.

Papers for the meeting are available here.

If you would like to attend please register your attendance with Ben Murphy, Senior Governance Manager on 01642 745049 or by email to


On 1st April 2014 South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group completed its first year. One major part of our work has been to evaluate the best way to transform community services in order to meet the health needs and wishes of our population in the future.   We have sought the views of the public through a series of Public Engagement meetings and have been having regular meetings with our colleagues in general practice, hospital, our two Local Authorities and the voluntary sector.

The Public Consultation explaining our proposals was launched on 30th April and closed on the 31st July 2014.

Our Consultation Report with appendices can be found below:

140903 IMProVE Consultation Report (2)

Appendix 2 IMProVE Consultation document

Appendix 4. IMProVE public consultation survey analysis

Appendix 5 Carers Together Vulnerable Groups Survey (2)

At the heart of our proposal is a plan to increase the amount of care and support that patients can receive in their own homes. To enable this we want to further increase our emphasis on prevention and supporting people to remain independent for longer. When patients do fall ill, however, there will be a much improved assessment process and   where appropriate, there will be the capacity to manage more patients in their own homes with a greater range of services and improved co-ordination of care.

In addition we are proposing to introduce a community stroke team which will enable some patients to receive their rehabilitation at home where they often achieve better outcomes. For those stroke patients who do need to receive rehabilitation in hospital, we plan to concentrate stroke rehabilitation on one site as this has been shown to be highly effective in improving recovery for stroke patients. We are suggesting that Redcar Primary Care Hospital is the most suitable community NHS facility for this rehabilitation as it offers excellent modern rehabilitation facilities. We also want to deliver more out-patient clinics in the community as well as some day treatments such as cancer therapies.   We know that by improving our community services and delivering more care at home, there will be less need for community beds.

Last year nearly two million pounds was spent on empty space across our four community hospitals and we continue to pay high maintenance and repair costs for some of our older buildings.   We want to use this resource in a better way, improving the range and quality of the services we provide rather than continue to pay for empty space and maintain Estate which is not sustainable into the future.   In plain terms we are proposing to re-provide the services currently delivered at Carter Bequest Hospital and part of Guisborough General Hospital.

These changes will take time to implement which is why we are proposing a phased approach. This will enable careful monitoring of progress.

At South Tees CCG we think that the proposal represents a fantastic opportunity to transform community services for all residents of Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. We have had a great deal of support from people we have spoken to about our vision, with some saying that we should try and move more swiftly than planned. We are confident therefore that this is the right direction of travel and commend the proposal to you.

A copy of the consultation document is now available on our website. We are also holding a number of public meetings and would like as many members of the Public to attend one of these; they will be advertised in the press and will be posted on the South Tees CCG website.