Agenda item

Firshill Rise - Update

NHS South Yorkshire to report



The Sub-Committee received a report regarding the provision of health services for people with learning disabilities/autism.  The report set out the development and implementation of a future model for the delivery of community and inpatient health services for people with learning disabilities, following changes in patterns of demand over the period of delivery of the national Transforming Care programme.




Present for this item were Heather Burns (Deputy Director, Mental Health Transformation, NHS South Yorkshire), Alexis Chappell (Director of Adult Health and Social Care), Greg Hackney (Senior Service Manager, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust) and Richard Kennedy (Engagement Manager, NHS South Yorkshire).




Heather Burns outlined background information to the existing learning disability/autism service in Sheffield.  She said that the national Transforming Care Programme expected all areas to reduce its overreliance and length of stay in inpatient beds and provide care in the least restrictive environments closer to home.  She said that currently there were 26 people in Sheffield with autism who had been referred to treatment units.  She said the future model was to modernise service delivery and work closely with the City Council and the NHS to look at how they provided their services.  Heather Burns said that the aim was to prevent people from being admitted into hospital by focusing on wraparound support and reduce the need for hospital beds.  She said that NHS Sheffield had commissioned seven out of the eight available beds at the inpatient Assessment and Treatment Unit at Firshill Rise, the other bed being available to other commissioners in the South Yorkshire area, as this was the only unit available to them as they had closed their inpatient provision.  She stated that at present, Sheffield had one person with learning disability requiring inpatient care and one person in secure care, therefore due to the success of the programme, there were resources available to invest and provide better community services.  The aim was to engage with service users, their families, carers and stakeholders on how to develop a new model for learning disability services to further enhance community services.  She said that currently, the community service on offer was Monday to Friday, nine to five, with no availability at weekends so there were limited interventions.  The aim was for service users to receive the right support and care and be in the right culture at the right time to reduce reliance on inpatient beds.  She said enhanced community provision would support earlier, more intensive intervention and would mean the resources could be directed to a wider group of people with greater need.




Richard Kennedy said that NHS South Yorkshire were keen to commence the programme and deal with a number of issues and opportunities.  He said the engagement process had already begun and talks had been held with different community groups who were better placed in advising the Trust of the best way to engage with service users.  It was expected that consultation would start in January 2023, and dependant on the outcome of the consultation, the full process and sign off would likely be around May, 2023.




Heather Burns acknowledged that, on occasion, some people had no option but to be admitted into hospital.  She said that work was ongoing with the South Yorkshire ICB to set up the facility.  She said that pre-pandemic and after, cases of people with autism had risen, so the focus was whether patients needed to be admitted into acute mainstream hospital wards.




Alexis Chappell said that the focus for the City Council’s Adult Social Care Service was to enable people to live independently, the way they want to live in their own home.  The Service was looking at how to make improvements to enable patients to be discharged from hospital into their own homes.




Members made various comments and asked a number of questions, to which responses were provided as follows:-




·                There was a significant amount of learning to be done from Firshill Rise and the CQC inspection.  Part of the national, regional and local learning formed part of why the whole Transforming Care programme had been initiated and the focus now was what had been offered in the past to what would be offered going forward. 




·                As part of the Council’s delivery plan, there was a need to develop a Joint Care Quality Board to ensure quality of care doesn’t get lost. It would be helpful to get Members’ views on this. 




·                The option going forward was to develop an appropriate facility and consider whether there was another facility close by which would reduce travel. Part of enhancing community services, was to have more clinical staff available.  Currently there was a full-time clinical nurse that robustly oversees the process of monitoring patient care.




·                The difference the facility would make to the lives of 24 patients currently in a semi secure facility could completely transform their lives.  Reference was made to someone who had been hospitalised for over 20 years, but after two years was now living in a community facility, and many other people were going through the same process.  There was a national programme to reduce time spent in hospital beds.  NHS England had scrutinised care in order to reduce patients being admitted into hospital and also to try to make sure that they were not readmitted into hospital.




·                Currently there was one person in need of hospital care in an out of city bed.  There was a need to think for the future, that there was still need for beds, and to ensure that there was a secure facility as an alternative to taking up a hospital bed.  This type of facility needed to be staffed in a certain way, by trained specialists




·                NHS South Yorkshire had been working in partnership with other South Yorkshire authorities and Rotherham and Doncaster have stated that they don’t want a facility, so they are not part of the consultation process. However, work was ongoing with the South Yorkshire partners to provide a safe space step-up facility for those who could not be stabilised sufficient to stay at home but wouldn’t necessarily need to be admitted to hospital and it was hoped to be able to develop that type of facility for the whole area.




·                There was no longer a need for an eight-bed facility, it was not an effective way to deliver a service.  Other South Yorkshire areas have said they don’t want assessment treatment beds, but the conversation on this was ongoing,  and talks would still continue.




RESOLVED: That the Sub-Committee:-


(a)      notes the report;

(b)      indicated that they looked forward to hearing the next stage of the Consultation; and

(c)      requested that a report on the learning from Firshill Rise be brought to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee.


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