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Apologies were received from Cllr Rowley, Cllr Page and Elizabeth Learoyd.
Declarations of Interest
Cllr Waite declared that he had a personal interest in the agenda item as he was employed by the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The Chair and Panel welcomed Helen Hibbs back to the Panel meeting.
Steve Marshall (Wolverhampton CCG) outlined the background and context for the Sustainable Transformation Plan (STP) and explained that one issue and driver behind the plan was to bridge the financial gap. It was estimated that the local NHS would be facing a £512 million financial gap by 2020/2021 as increased funding was outstripped by rising demand and demographic changes. There was also a similar £188 million deficit being faced by Social Care Services. Mr Marshall highlighted the impact of the political cycle on policy and that there was now a 2 year timescale to implement the changes before the 2020 elections. Mr Marshall stated that doing nothing was not an option as this could result in a deficit of £800 million across health and social care by 2020. Mr Marshall highlighted that not all of the recommendations in the STP linked directly with financial matters including those relating to infant health and mental health where the driver was to standardise and improve services.
Mr Marshall provided an overview of place based care and stated that the partners needed to address issues at both a local and a cross boundary level
to make the plans a reality. At the moment there were a number of hospitals providing parallel services and that some of these services could be standardised along with some services at an acute level. At the moment Wolverhampton had a shortage of acute beds whilst there was a surplus of such beds in Sandwell and Dudley. There was a need for better collaboration with community care to help to reduce demand on hospital services and a need for better bed utilisation to bend the demand curve and provide better local primary care whilst reducing the costs associated with acute care.
The CCG was currently engaging with partners and communities on an informal basis. It was confirmed that if a major reconfiguration of services was required that formal consultation would then be required.
The Panel queried which facilities would need to be closed to enable the financial savings to be met. Mr Marshall stated that there were no plans to stop any services but it might be that some services had to be run from different locations. The Panel queried whether there might be additional pressure on Wolverhampton services and facilities due to the fact that there were issues facing neighbouring authorities where more radical plans were being suggested. Mr Laughton stated that there was a need to close West Park Hospital as soon as possible as there were now only three wards there. Mr Laughton also stated that demand needed to be managed at New Cross Hospital to free up approximately four wards to allow for a possible influx from neighbouring authorities. Mr Laughton stated that the required financial savings were not achievable with the current plan and would at most amount to 50% of the necessary amount.
Mr Marshall agreed and stated that West Park currently ... view the full minutes text for item 3.