Hospital trust to stop running Scarborough community health services

Community nurses could be affected by a contract change for community services in Scarborough and Ryedale.
Community nurses could be affected by a contract change for community services in Scarborough and Ryedale.

As many as 240 NHS staff who provide treatment from cancer information to fast response are at risk despite the health trust saying changes in their contract would not be best for patients of the area.

Staff could end up working for a private organisation, meaning they no longer work for the NHS.

It follows a decision which York Hospital Trust says it has “reluctantly” made to pull out of providing community services across Scarborough and Ryedale due to fears it could not cover the costs.

This would affect services such as:

• Community nursing in Scarborough and Ryedale

• Community rehabilitation physiotherapy

• Fast Response teams

• Specialist heart failure nursing

• Specialist palliative care

Patrick Crowley, chief executive at York Hospital Trust, told staff that the Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group has decided to begin a commercial tendering process to find a new service provider.

In a letter, he said: “The Clinical Commissioning Group’s new specification has been reviewed by our management team. We have, reluctantly, reached the conclusion

that the ambitious service expectations, the resources available for us to deliver them and the timescales for delivery would place an unreasonable degree of financial risk on the Trust at a time when it can be ill-afforded.”

Other services that included in the community services contract include community nursing, community rehab, specialist palliative care and specialist diabetes nursing.

Scarborough and Ryedale CCG has commissioned a new model of care and this means there will be some changes to service delivery, determined by whoever becomes the new provider.

Mr Crowley said it would be a risk to take on the contract with the money that is available to the deliver the services and the financial penalties for non-delivery of “very ambitious key performance indicators set out in the contract”.

The CCG’s desire for a “risk share” arrangements could see the new provider contributing towards costs for A&E and emergency services.

Nigel Ayre, Healthwatch North Yorkshire delivery manager, said: “We have concerns about the current provider’s assessment that the suggested pay for delivering these services is not sufficient.

“We will be contacting the CCG directly to seek assurances on behalf of the public that the budget set aside is enough for these essential services to be delivered.”

The CCG told The Scarborough News that it is aiming to improve integration between community services, primary care GP services and social care.

Sir Michael Carlisle, former chairman of Scarborough and N E Yorkshire NHS Trust, said: “We need assurance as to how the community services will be improved for the patients. If the integration is to save money then it needs explaining how it will do so.

“The patients deserve a value service and we need to know how we are going to get it. We require an effective service on the ground for an ageing population smoothing out the process of entry and exiting the hospital.”

The new provider of community services in Scarborough and Ryedale will take over the reigns from York Hospital Trust on April 3 2018 on a seven-year contract with the decision to be made later this year.

Other services affected could include:

• Cancer Information

• Malton Community In Patient Unit (Malton Hospital will remain in the Trust’s ownership therefore this will not affect other services that run out of Malton or any ancillary support staff such as estates and facilities or hospital administration)

• Specialist Continence

• Specialist Diabetes Nursing

• Physio and occupational therapy

• Specialist Respiratory Nursing

• Tissue Viability Nursing

• Musculoskeletal physio in Scarborough