HEALTH officials have announced they are to stand down plans for two public consultations due to unprecedented demand for inpatient beds.
NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield, NHS Darlington and NHS North Durham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have taken the decision to withdraw proposals for both Ward-6 in-patient rehabilitation services and stroke rehabilitation at Bishop Auckland Hospital (BAH).
The consultations, which proposed moving stroke rehabilitation services from BAH to the University Hospital of North Durham (UHND) and re-purposing Ward-6 as a dedicated rehabilitation facility for patients will cease with immediate effect.
Dr Neil O’Brien, accountable officer for the CCGs, said: “Despite the clinical proposals presented for both Ward 6 and stroke rehabilitation being valid, the level of service demand has far exceeded expectations and these need to be taken into account.
“We have further reviewed the demand and complexity of patients and as a result a decision has been made to withdraw the proposals.
“Due to unprecedented pressure being placed on the system in recent months, we felt that the proposed model of care would not be deliverable at this time.”
The move comes after seeking public views on both stroke rehabilitation and Ward-6 inpatient rehabilitation, during the initial consultation period which restarted on January 14 following the need to pause in November 2019 due to the general election.
“The CCGs listened very carefully to public opinion during the early consultation period and we, alongside County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust, are fully committed to the long term future of BAH,” added Dr O’Brien.
“There is agreement that additional therapy support is required for both stroke rehabilitation and Ward-6. Significant improvements are being made to the community element of the stroke pathway and we are committed to further investment in hospital based services.
“Specifically there will be dedicated therapy provision made for stroke services on both BAH and UHND sites and in addition resources will be made available on Ward-6 for an enhanced level of therapy.”
The local NHS will continue to review services across County Durham and Darlington to ensure high quality services are available to all, whilst ensuring where possible care is delivered close to home.
Background information about the consultation is available on the CCG websites: