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

9 July 2014, 5.30-7.00pm.  Redcar – Sacred Heart RC School, Mersey Road, Redcar, TS10 1PJ

Our proposals at a glance

Development of Community Infrastructure

  • To implement a Community Stroke (Early Supported Discharge) Team to support patients to regain independence following a stroke
  • Working with local authority colleagues to increase capacity of re-ablement and support services
  • Working with all of our partners to develop an assessment hub which provides rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatments for elderly and vulnerable people
  • Strengthen existing community based teams to deliver more health and therapy support in patient’s homes, including providing appropriate training for staff
  • In order to ensure  health and social care services are joined up and co-ordinated, we will implement a single point of contact for accessing community care
  • Deliver more out-patient, diagnostics and treatment therapies in the community.

Redcar Primary Care Hospital

  • Centralise all stoke rehabilitation and support services, e.g. physiotherapy, occupational therapy and dietetics at Redcar Primary Care Hospital.  This will include beds dedicated for stroke rehabilitation
  • Maintain community bed base
  • Consolidate and explore expansion of minor injury services on this site.

East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital, Brotton

  • Develop unused space on this site to provide a range of additional outpatient, diagnostic and therapy services
  • Maintain the existing community bed base and associated support services
  • Re-provide the minor injury service at Redcar Primary Care Hospital.

Guisborough Primary Care Hospital

  • Re-develop the Chaloner building to retain existing services and to further extend the range of outpatient, diagnostic and therapy services for local people
  • Re-provide stroke rehabilitation beds at Redcar Primary Care Hospital and reprovide the community bed base at Redcar and East Cleveland Primary Care Hospitals
  • Re-provide the minor injury service at Redcar Primary Care Hospital.


Carter Bequest Hospital

  • Re-provide all services at other sites and invest in a range of additional community based services, leading to closure of the hospital
  • Administrative services in the hospital will be relocated
  • Retain the GP practice at this site in discussion with both the practice and NHS England.


Phasing of Developments

Based on what people have told us, we will make these changes by:

  • Putting new services in place and testing them before moving existing services
  • Making step by step decisions about the changes we are making and the impact that they have on patients and their health before continuing to the next step
  • Introducing these changes in a phased approach over the next two years with all services in place by April 2016.  

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