Rising elderly population in south Warwickshire prompts review - The Leamington Observer

Rising elderly population in south Warwickshire prompts review

MORE elderly patients in south Warwickshire could in the future be cared for at home rather than in hospital.

South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has undertaken a review of community inpatient facilities within the area.

It follows estimations there could be a 15 to 20 per cent increase in the number of people over 70 in Warwick and Stratford districts in 2025.

Health chiefs say if services continue to be delivered in the same way, then demand will outstrip supply. They say alternative approaches to providing appropriate care and support need to be considered to ensure sustainable services are available.

The purpose of the review, included the bedded ward at Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston and the ward at Stratford Hospital, was to ensure services provided best enabled “all elderly or frail patients to be supported home to continue their recovery” following an admission to hospital.

The vision is in line with the government’s national health and social care Home First approach, which states people should be able to live independently and well in their own home, with appropriate equipment and technology to enable them to do so.

The review, which included public feedback, has been combined with key data on patient safety, accessibility, and workforce considerations.

Findings show a significant number of patients using community hospital inpatient beds could have been supported via an alternative community-based way.

With input from senior clinical and operational teams, the review dentifies a preferred option from SWUFT.

This includes increasing the number of community hospital beds (from 35 to 41 beds – providing more beds than currently needed so supporting future needs for south Warwickshire) and changing the location of delivery to Stratford Hospital and Leamington Spa Hospital.

And it also includes investing in community alternatives such as home based therapy which supports patients in their home after a stay in hospital and increasing capacity within the Community Response Team, which provides urgent support, seven days a week, with the aim of preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

These recommendations would mean permanently relocating the community hospital beds from Ellen Badger Hospital to Leamington Spa Hospital, retaining the community hospital beds at the Nicol Unit at Stratford Hospital and developing community alternatives to help support patients.

An SWUFT spokesperson said: “It is proven that recovery and rehabilitation can be enhanced within an individuals’ home environment, so investing in community alternatives will offer significant long-term benefits.”

“Relocating from Ellen Badger Hospital to Leamington Spa Hospital means that the ward is co-located with other inpatient services. This provides a range of benefits for people across south Warwickshire including clinical cover, access to dedicated therapy areas which help promote rehabilitation and recovery and independence.

“Post code analysis of previous patients has highlighted that many patients were having to travel significant distances for the inpatient facilities in Shipston and Stratford. With both units located in the Stratford upon Avon district of south Warwickshire, there were inequities for our populations located centrally and further north of the county.

“Leamington Spa Hospital is centrally located and closer to a much higher proportion of the users of community hospital inpatient services.

These recommendations have been put forward in line with NHS strategic direction and driven by the best clinical outcomes for patients.”


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