Today I attended a meeting on the newly proposed Health and Well being campus in the grounds of the community hospital.
There were many good proposal, improved outpatient care, good public health and proposal for medicial assessment and the new Grove House Doctors Surgery.
The downside to the proposal was the reduction in bed numbers from 16 to 8 beds with an additional 2 beds for medicial assessment and 2 beds for amulmatory care.
There was no real discussion on the social care, this is a major challenge for the coming years.
The truth that came from the meeting was the very real challenge that will face the NHS in the coming few years.
Somerset health services has to reduce its expenditure by £200 million in today's money terms over the next five years.
The Health and Social Care Act has further complicated the future provision of health services, it would appear that there is no current advice from the department of health in relation to capital investment in new health centres, further to this the site and buildings are owned by the NHS Proprtty services Ltd, any future provision will have to be agreed with them and of course they are now having to maximise their income, the Somerset Clinical Commissioning group will fund the new facility with another provider supplying the staffing.
Grove house Doctor surgery wishes to build its own buildings.
We must ensure that Shepton Mallet receives the best healthcare, that offers the patients and their families good quality health services, that includes maximises the number of beds and good quality outpatient services, but also high quality public health advice that will give individuals the tools to have better health and save the NHS money.
We need to repeal the Health and Social Care Act and replace it with a set of policies that genuinely puts patients first, rather than markets, we need collaboration not competition, services before profit.
That is the choice.