Review underway into centralisation plan for Isle healthcare

editorial image

A major shake-up of health services could see people from the Isle travelling to hospitals for care previously received close to home.

Centralisation of some services is set to happen, as health bosses seek ways to save money and improve care.

Allison Cooke, chief officer of North Lincolnshire’s clinical commissioning group (CCG), said nothing was definite as yet, but that using specialist centres ‘makes sense and would benefit patients’.

She said: “What we’ve got now is not where we need to be. We need to deliver senior-led high quality care and make it local only where a quality of service is possible.”

Dr Gary Armstrong, a partner at Epworth Medical Practice, said: “What can be provided excellently at local level should be. But if you have to travel to get excellent service for a particular condition then that would be the right thing to do. The emphasis must stay with the patients, and what is right for them.”

North Lincolnshire Council’s Health Scrutiny Panel heard an update on the CCG’s major review of health services.

Chairman Jean Brumby said afterwards that the wait for detailed information was proving frustrating.

She said: “It is clear change is on the way and we want this to be communicated clearly at all stages.”

A public consultation has begun and there will be a display in Epworth town centre, from 10am to noon on August 12.

A second summit will take place in October, and it is then that formal options will be presented.

Findings from the review will be added to recommendations made after the Keogh review, that highlighted concerns at Scunthorpe General Hospital such as poor staffing levels, waits at A and E, and high occurrence of MRSA and bed sores.