NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group has begun the process of public engagement about plans to cut beds at Ilkeston Hospital.
The proposals have proved controversial since they were first revealed last month, but health leaders want to set out the positive case for changing the way services are delivered.
CCG director Zara Jones said: “Robust evidence, both local and national, shows patients who are discharged to the right type of care when they come out of hospital recover more quickly.
“Work to make these sort of adjustments to the care services offered has already been very successful in north Derbyshire through our ‘Better Care Closer to Home’ initiative.
She added: ”We’re keen to hear from as many people as possible during our local conversations so we can share how plans will be implemented and understand what local people, patients, staff and other key organisations think.
“We will take on board all comments and make sure all implications of these changes are planned for.”
The CCG and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, which provide services both in the local area and at Ilkeston Community Hospital, will be holding a series of drop-in sessions for the public to ask questions.
These will take place at Charnos Hall, Ilkeston, between 2pm and 6pm on Mondays July 15 and 29, and August 12.
According to the CCG’s plans, resources will be redirected away from hospital beds—reduced from 24 to 16—to ensure that rehabilitation services match the needs of the local population.
Capacity for delivering care at home will rise to 37 spaces from the current 27, while supportive bed care spaces—delivered in settings such as care homes—will rise from three to 11.
The care pathways in question are for those leaving acute care at the hospital, who continue to require help but not necessarily at the level of a medical nursing ward.
William Jones, chief operating officer for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are confident these plans will support our patients and help them recover more quickly as they’re cared for in the most appropriate setting.”
Dr Steve Lloyd, medical director for the CCG, said: “There are excellent NHS staff and services in Ilkeston already. All we intend to do is ensure the balance of what’s offered keeps up with the type of care patients’ need so we look after them the right way.”
For more information about the plans and an online survey to leave feedback, go to https://bit.ly/2YfX6Kp.