A £1.3 million pound scheme has been unveiled with the aim of bringing more services to a significantly under-used hospital.
Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have revealed that 62 per cent of the space available at Fareham Community Hospital is being used by health services.
We have had problems with being able to fill its occupancy and now we have to make changes as it is a ridiculous sum of money to pay just for empty space.Andrew Wood, chief financial officer at Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group
The CCG, who decide which services run at the hospital in Sarisbury Green, have to fit the bill for any unused space - which accounted for £427,000 last year as the hospital was only 38 per cent utilised.
In response to this, the CCG revealed a two-year pilot scheme at a meeting of the CCG’s governing board last week to double occupancy at the hospital and provide more services - which could include more GPs and a potential minor injury unit in the future.
It would involve the CCG spending £1.3m a year to foot the rent for the hospital space, so trusts such as Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust can then provide services.
Andrew Wood, chief financial officer at the CCG said: ‘This is a really innovative pilot scheme to address long running problems we have had with occupation at the hospital.
‘We have had problems with being able to fill its occupancy and now we have to make changes as it is a ridiculous sum of money to pay just for empty space.’
The services the hospital currently provides are outpatient services, occupational therapy, elderly mental health care and physiotherapy - therefore it is still lacking GP wards, rapid assessment units and a minor injury unit.
Lucy Doherty, a member of the public who sits on the CCG’s governing board said: ‘It is fantastic news that at last something is being done.
‘This is the first step which will allow the CCG to obtain greater control on what services can be provided.
‘Following this, what specific services we target can then be looked at.’
The scheme, which could be applied to other hospitals nationally, also involves plans for a fully bookable model for managing use of facilities via an electronic booking system.
Sara Tiller, the CCG’s chief development officer said: ‘Fareham Community Hospital is a super facility and we are determined to significantly improve the use of the site.
‘We are taking an innovative approach to try to unlock the space so the hospital can be used to its full potential.’
The hospital is managed by Community Health Partnerships, which is owned by the Department for Health.
HOSPITAL COULD BECOME LOCATION FOR PRIMARY CARE HUB
A HOSPITAL could be utilised as a primary care hub for a borough, an MP has revealed.
Suella Fernandes, Fareham MP, says that in addition to the £1.3m pilot scheme, Fareham Community Hospital could become the location for a long-term health hub.
Miss Fernandes, who set up a task force into improving the hospital said: ‘Working with local GPs, the CCG and local health trusts, we are looking at options which include setting up a primary care hub at the hospital where many health specialists will be based.’