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Postal Address

Shropshire Council
Abbey Foregate

Agenda item

Prevention, Primary Care, Urgent and Emergency Care, and Discharge Task and Finish Group Report

To receive the report of the Task and Finish Group. Chair of the Task and Finish Group, Cllr Claire Wild, will deliver the report. Report attached.



Councillor Claire Wild, Chair of the Task and Finish Group for Prevention, Primary Care, Urgent and Emergency Care, and Discharge, presented a report which highlighted the key findings, recommendations to date and future areas of focus for health overview and scrutiny.


The task and finish group, assisted by the Executive Director of Health and the Executive Director or People, scoped their work around three key stages:


· Primary Care and preventing emergency department attendance

· Emergency department attendance and admission to hospital

· Preparing for discharge from hospital and discharge from hospital


It was acknowledged that blame should not be apportioned and that there has to be a whole system approach in improving the current system.


It was felt that there were a lack of hospital beds available, especially in certain parts of the county which delayed admission to hospital. Members acknowledged concerns that there was a disconnect when being discharged from hospital, as patients may be told they can leave, however not all of the actions had been completed, for example they were unable to get their medication, or transport was not available at the time and therefore they were unable to be discharged.


It was agreed that these issues need to be raised with the Joint HOSC and ICS and to work together to look to agree a work programme to find and assess the impact of solutions. Examples to ease the pressure on services included setting up another ward in A&E or having a discharge ward which are currently in operation in other areas.


Members felt that social care staffing shortages were leading to care packages not being delivered and as previously raised, 24/7 care in hospitals, including radiographers and pharmacists, could improve the system to allow treatment to continue in the community and reduce the time taken to discharge patients.


Members agreed that performance data was required to track patients on point of entry at A&E through to discharge to understand the system in more detail. It was noted that a joint commissioning project with the ICS was in progress and that a piece of work was also taking place with Healthwatch Shropshire on patients experiences through A&E. It was hoped that the findings from this would be published in January.


It was stated that GP contracts could be coming to an end in April in community hospitals, which were felt to play a significant part in patient recovery and could ease the pressure on other services. Further information regarding these proposals was requested.


The Executive Director for People advised members that there had been an increased number of discharges despite national challenges around workforce. Shropshire Council was now supporting many more patients at home than ever before and looking at a range of options as to how to support people differently. There was an aspiration for more patients not to have to go to hospital but if they did, to be discharged as soon as possible. It was felt that understanding the scope and expected impact of virtual wards may be worth exploring further.


Sam Tilley, Director of Urgent & Emergency Care and Emergency Planning of NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, agreed that there was high level data that can be presented to JHOSC and this committee. Members were advised that she would welcome receiving any lines of enquiry in addition to those that had been shared with the ICB by the task and finish group. She further advised that she would like to have an opportunity to talk about how issues raised in the report are being addressed; this could be in the form of a briefing session in the new year. It was confirmed that Sam planned to be in attendance at the JHOSC meeting on Monday 19th December.


The Task and Finish Group were thanked for their work and it was agreed that the report and recommendations are presented to the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to inform their work programming and the identification of future topics and agenda items.

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