COLUMN: Good news on healthcare

Ben Bradley, MP.
Ben Bradley, MP.

I was really pleased this week, when visiting our local clinical commissioning group, to come away with positive health news for the district.

I’d previously visited last month to raise a few concerns about some proposals and rumours, and it’s good to see the wheels turning and solutions now being presented.

First on our agenda was the Chatsworth neuro-rehab ward at Mansfield Community Hospital. It was announced in the summer that the ward would close in November, and its clear there’s a clinical need for some kind of change to ensure the care provided meets the requirements of a specialist unit.

It can’t carry on as it is because it doesn’t have the specialist consultant it needs to manage it. However the announcement of a closure was a sudden one and obviously caused a lot of concern among those with links to the service, so it’s great to hear that the November closure plan has been scrapped.

Instead there’s a deeper review happening to establish what we need, as well as what the trust can safely provide, and there will be a public meeting about this soon. Whilst the really specialist care may need to change to meet the requirements, it’s hoped that the bulk of the service can continue and could even stay on the same site as it is now, which would be a really positive outcome .

The second bit of good news is about housing and social care, after Mansfield District Council raised concerns about losing funding for its ASSIST service, which basically placed housing officers from the council on site in hospital to help get people back home and living independently more quickly after treatment. It was shown that this saved a huge amount of money and had obvious benefits to both the hospital and the patients, so the good news is the funding has been extended to keep the service.

A lot of people try to paint a negative picture of our health service, which clearly has its challenges, but it’s important we share the good news as well, and that we recognise the hard work of everyone involved across the service to keep the ship afloat.