The South West clinical senate deliberated the question, what is the future role of community hospitals in the South West and how should they be configured to meet population health needs, taking into consideration location, size, beds, services and staffing?
This topic was first brought to the South West Clinical Senate by Somerset Sustainability and Transformation
Partnership (STP) who are looking to make transformational changes to community services and settings of
care in their area as part of their wider Fit for My Future Programme. Many of the other STPs and ICS’ in the
South West are also considering how they make best use of community facilities and were keen for the
Clinical Senate to revisit this topic. Previously in 2014 and 2016 the Clinical Senate shared recommendations
around community services transformation as well as previously conducting some formal clinical reviews of
large-scale change in this area. However, the topic remains a contentious one with much variation in how
the 70+ community hospitals in the South West are utilised, as well as there being significant public
resistance to changes to services delivered from these facilities.