HANDS OFF OUR WARDS: Service move would 'not be about money'

Courtesy of the Dorset Echo

8:42am Saturday 29th August 2015

By Meghan Hindley

THE CHAIR of Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has responded to claims proposals to move children's inpatient services from Dorchester will not actually save money.

The Echo reported earlier this week that campaigners fighting to protect children's services had been given cause for hope after correspondence between West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin and the CCG revealed the move would not result in a financial saving.


CCG representatives have now met with Mr Letwin and the organisation has released a statement saying that the decision whether to relocate the service or not would be based on the quality of care provided rather than to save money.

The CCG says it is still considering two options for paediatric hospital based services in Dorset, with each balancing in different ways how best to achieve the highest quality outcomes, patient access to services and deliverability.

It says it need to consider the findings of a Royal College review that is taking place this autumn in Dorset, the views of the Wessex Clinical Senate and local doctors, nurses and health professionals.

Under option one all inpatient care, for those small number of the sickest children who need overnight stays, would take place at the Major Emergency Hospital in the east, at Royal Bournemouth or Poole Hospital.

Under option two, in consideration of Dorset’s geography and issues around maintaining easier access to services, this option would see inpatient overnight stays continue to be provided in the west at Dorset County Hospital as well as at the Major Emergency Hospital, and with staff from Dorset County Hospital changing to start working in close partnership with staff in the major emergency hospital.

Dr Forbes Watson, Chair of NHS Dorset CCG said: "Yesterday we had a helpful meeting with Oliver Letwin MP during which it was clear that we share the common interest of having local health and social care services working more closely together to deliver high quality, safe and accessible care for the people of Dorset.

"Oliver Letwin MP expressed support for helping the CCG in this process and we have committed to meet again this autumn to ensure he is kept fully informed of our plans.

"Over the forthcoming months we will continue to explore the two options for how to deliver paediatric hospital based services in Dorset, with each balancing in different ways how best to achieve the highest quality outcomes, patient access to services, taking into account Dorset’s geography, and deliverability. As local GPs and clinicians who see patients on a daily basis we recognise that often difficult decisions have to be made in order to get the best treatment, it is therefore not the case that any changes would only be made in order to ‘save money’.

"We are having ongoing discussions with our Dorset clinicians about how best to balance all these factors and will also be considering the findings of a Royal College review of Dorset’s maternity and paediatric services that is taking place this autumn. We also continue to welcome the views of the public.

"No final decision about what changes to implement will be made until after public consultation. Until then we commit to keeping people updated."