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Proposals to cut hospital beds for learning disabled in Cambridgeshire


By Gemma Gardner


Consultation launched on whether to reduce the number of inpatient beds for people with learning disabilities
Consultation launched on whether to reduce the number of inpatient beds for people with learning disabilities

A consultation has been launched on whether to reduce the number of inpatient beds for people with learning disabilities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group is asking for views on proposals to reduce the number of beds and invest the money saved in community services.

Across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough there is currently a total of 16 inpatient beds – six in a ward at the Ida Darwin site at Fulbourn and 10 at The Hollies at the Cavell Centre in Peterborough.

The Fulbourn ward has not been in use since 2016 due to low demand and the building is deemed not being fit for purpose. The Ida Darwin site is soon to be redeveloped.

The CCG also has the option to commission beds in other areas should it need them.

Three options are being considered under the consultation: no change, retain local beds only, no dedicated local beds and the CCG’s preferred option of decommissioning all of the beds and invest in community services to help avoid admissions to hospital.

Dr Gary Howsam, GP chair and chief clinical officer of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said: “People with a learning disability have the right to the same opportunities and to have the same expectations as anyone else.

“However, in many cases people with a learning disability spend a significant amount of time in hospital, in some cases many years, when they could be living fulfilling lives in their local community.

“We feel that, in line with the national transforming care programme, the proposals would improve patients’ experiences and deliver better clinical outcomes for people with learning disabilities.

“By reducing the number of inpatient beds locally we will be able to reinvest the money we will save into enhanced community teams and a crisis management service which is not hospital-based.

“We feel that this will help to improve the quality of life of people with learning disabilities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

The consultation will close at 5pm on Friday, September 28. More details about the consultation can be found via the CCG.



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