Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

Community Rehabilitation Service funding cut – Walsall CCG quizzed on lack of consultation

by Ian Shires on 11 April, 2018

Liberal Democrat Cllr Ian Shires raised concerns about the lack of consultation around the future of Hollybank House following the withdrawal of funding for the Community Rehabilitation Service by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) at last night’s meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

Responding to Cllr Shires’ line of inquiry a representative of Walsall CCG told the meeting  that Walsall CCG had plans to commission a number of short term Nursing Home placements where Nursing Homes will provide the ‘care’ that an individual may require and Community Healthcare Therapists will support their rehabilitation programme.

Health and Social Care services are being developed the meeting was told, to support people on discharge from hospital in Walsall. The new model of care will mean that people receive support on discharge from hospital more quickly and in a more cost effective way.

The proposed changes to the rehabilitation service have been in discussion for a number of weeks but have only recently been finalised. Staff affected were consulted at the earliest opportunity, in line with usual staff consultation procedures.

Cllr Shires told the meeting that as a Ward Councillor for the area he would have expected along with colleagues and other Partner Agencies to have been part of the wider consultation process. “Instead” said Cllr Shires “the first he and his colleagues got to hear of the impending closure was when we began to get inquiries from concerned relatives and from others who had been patients at Hollybank House.

“I understand that like the rest of the public sector the CCG was under pressure to do more with less money” said Ian “but that is no excuse for not keeping people fully informed. Further more I’d like you to explain to me just how this new arrangement was going to improve the levels of bed blocking that affects patients waiting to leave Walsall’s Manor Hospital? I will be watching the Manor’s discharge rates with great interest” he concluded.

Walsall Council owns Hollybank House but the Community Rehabilitation Service which it operates from there is actually funded by Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group through the Better Care Fund.

As a direct result of the action taken by Walsall CCG Hollybank House ceases to accept referrals by the end of May and will close at the end of June 2018. In its place, Walsall CCG will commission a number of short term Nursing Home placements where the Nursing Home will provide the ‘care’ that an individual may require and Community Healthcare Therapists will support their rehabilitation programme.

The changes will unfortunately result in some staff redundancies and voluntary redundancy applications have been invited. The Council will support employees through this process to optimise their chance of finding alternative employment for example through access to training to help them to find alternative work. In addition the Council’s confidential counselling service provider can offer free independent advice to employees and their immediate families.

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