Shepton Mallet Health Partnership, a joint venture between Care UK and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is the preferred bidder to run the new Shepton Mallet health and wellbeing campus following an announcement today by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group.
Somerset Partnership, which currently runs the community hospital and the minor injuries unit (MIU) on the site will, from January 2017, work with Care UK, which runs the Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, to deliver a range of NHS services for people living in the Shepton Mallet area.
Shepton Mallet Health Partnership builds on the expertise of the current local providers: Care UK which runs the treatment centre and Somerset Partnership which runs a wide range of services across the county, including Shepton Mallet Community Hospital. Their vision for the campus will extend the range of healthcare services available in the town over the next eight years.
The campus is expected to include a number of enhanced services for Shepton Mallet people including:
- Extended opening hours from 8am to 10pm every day for the MIU from the current 8am to 8pm with access to diagnostic services including x-ray during those opening hours.
- A community facility that goes beyond being a hospital, providing a base for the community, including voluntary and third sector organisations to support people taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
- Two ‘ambulatory care’ beds which could offer services such as blood transfusions and IV antibiotic therapy locally.
- Support to carers, providing a meeting place and services to assist them with issues they may face both from a health and social care perspective.
Shepton Mallet Health Partnership will also be continuing its work with local voluntary and community groups – through the Community Partnership Group – to support how it develops the health and wellbeing campus over time to meet the local health and wellbeing needs.
Welcoming the announcement, Dr Nick Broughton, Chief Executive of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:“I am delighted our Trust is one half of the partnership that is now the preferred bidder for this new, local, integrated health and wellbeing campus for the people of Shepton Mallet and the surrounding areas.
“We have been working hard with Care UK partners on an innovative solution to providing healthcare that locates on one site a range of NHS community and mental health services. The campus will draw on the dedication to excellent care that our staff have been delivering locally for years.
“We are also pleased that local community and voluntary health-related organisations have a base on the campus in the years ahead so that we can create a true community hub that responds to the needs of local people.”
Hospital Director Chester Barnes from Care UK, who has been responsible for the Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre since 2008, said:
“I hope that local people will be pleased to hear that the two current providers will continue to deliver health services on this site for at least another eight years. Not only will services like cataract surgery, endoscopies, diagnostic imaging and joint replacement procedures still be delivered here in Shepton Mallet by the same committed team, but we are looking forward to delivering a wider range of other health services locally that will support local people in remaining healthy and well.
“We already have a great team with ambitious plans to work together to deliver something local people will be proud of at a time when so many other communities are finding their health services centralised in big towns far from where they live.”
The new service, which will go live in January 2017, has been commissioned by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. Commissioners wanted to see services on the Shepton Mallet site evolve from two separate services to a much more integrated health and wellbeing campus providing a range of NHS services and minimising the need for patients to have to travel to neighbouring towns for routine health appointments.