Views sought on Gossoms End in-patient unit

Posted: August 11 2016

Views are sought on proposals for the future of Berkhamsted's Gossoms End Community Hospital.

Views sought on Gossoms End in-patient unit

Last September, Hertfordshire Community Trust (HCT) informed colleagues at Herts Valleys CCG that they were unable to sustain safe staffing across the community beds in the west of the county and needed to reduce the bed numbers so that staff could be redeployed. There were specific issues at Gossoms End with regard to staffing levels that indicated this was the unit that should be closed temporarily.

In addition to issues around safe staff levels, it was also evident that the capacity of the unit exceeded the need among people living in the vicinity of Gossoms End, with many patients coming from other areas.

A joint decision was made between HCT and Herts Valleys to temporarily close the remaining nine beds in October 2015. All of the staff working at the unit were relocated to other community in-patient units in west Hertfordshire.

In order to meet the needs of patients from across west Hertfordshire who might require a community bed, Herts Valleys commissioned 16 additional beds at Willow Court in Harpenden.

HCT and Herts Valleys CCG are now proposing that the 20 inpatient beds at Gossoms End are permanently closed and that we continue the arrangements that have been in place since the temporary closure – including continued availability of community beds across west Hertfordshire. All other services at Gossoms End would be unaffected.

As a result of the Your Care, Your Future review of health services in west Hertfordshire, we have embarked on developing a new model of out-of-acute hospital care for older people. Community beds would be made more flexible to meet needs and a model of at-home care would make it easier for people to remain in their homes and at the same time receive effective and specialist services.

In terms of Gossoms End for the longer term, it has been identified as a potential locality ‘hub’ to provide additional out-of-hospital services for local people. HCT, which owns the site, is committed to ensuring the vacated section of the building is used to provide NHS services for local people in line with the Your Care, Your Future vision. In the coming months HCT will work with local healthcare providers and Herts Valleys to identify an appropriate use for the in-patient unit.

We are interested in finding out what people think about these proposals. Please let us have your comments on or before Friday 9 September by:

Taking part in the online survey here  
Emailing your comments to: heather.aylward@hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk
Writing to: Herts Valleys CCG, Hemel One, Boundary Way, Hemel Hempstead  HP2 7YU
This engagement period runs until 9 September 2016. The document giving details of the proposals can be opened from here.

If you are a journalist or media representative requiring further information contact our communications team on (01707) 388148 or via communications@hct.nhs.uk