News

Making Midhurst Integrated Community Health Hub a reality

Monday 21st October, 2019

By Dr Emma Woodcock, senior local GP and Clinical Director for the Rural North Chichester Primary Care Network

It was thrilling to see so many people engaged and excited about the future of a new Integrated Community Health Hub for Midhurst and the surrounding area at the public meeting last week. We were joined at the South Downs Centre on 8 October by more than 75 people, who came to hear about our plans and join in the discussion.

It is so important to our local doctors and nurses that we make sure the needs of the individual patient, carers and families are placed at the centre of our new service, and that they become known and supported by key workers within the team.

We would like the proposed new Health Hub to offer patients a range of support; from proactive care that focuses on maintaining health and wellbeing, through to responsive and reactive services that step in if the patient starts to become unwell or is not coping. For our frail, older population this might mean increased support in the community and in their own home. This could help to avoid a hospital stay for the patient, which we know can cause an increase in frailty and loss of independence.

We now have an ambitious vision for a single team of health and social care professionals all working together - both within Midhurst Community Hospital and outside - forging strong links with our four local GP surgeries, our care homes and local community organisations.

Phase one of the project will bring together and develop a team of NHS, social care and community workers to focus on further developing local health and wellbeing services - such as proactive care, assessments of risk of falling, prescribing of social interaction, mental health support and dementia support. We are hoping to have this up and running around Easter 2020. Our ambition for phase two is to develop existing responsive services to support our residents who are living with frailty, offering a rapid response if a patient becomes unwell but does not require admission to hospital. This will lead to more care and support in people’s homes, and reduce the risk of a hospital admission.

Through this event and others during the past year, we have listened to what local people have to say about healthcare in the rural patch. This has included feedback about a lack of joined up care between different services and poor access to additional support within their own homes. We heard that people wanted more health and wellbeing services such as walking groups, social clubs, and mental health groups. We were not surprised to learn the lack of community transport is a big concern. We have started discussions with those who have an interest in community transport, including the county council and Community Transport Sussex, to see if we can use the new hub as an opportunity to link our current community transport schemes together and fill in any gaps.

The NHS is under pressure like never before and we all agree that services need to change and adapt in response to increasing demand and an ageing population. We think that creating an integrated community health hub will help to meet the needs of our local population in the decade ahead. We will continue to talk patients and the public in the coming months as we move towards the launch of our new Integrated Community Health Hub.

How to contact the communications team

You can reach our communication team by:

  • Calling – 01903 707447
  • Emailing – contactus.coastal@nhs.net
  • Writing to – Communications Team, NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG, 1 The Causeway, Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN12 6BT