Rothbury Community Hospital update

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has given an update on work which will enable a new model of care to be delivered from Rothbury Community Hospital:


The pioneering strategic health and social care partnership between ourselves and Rothbury Cottage Care Ltd, which is part of People First Care, will see a package of community care being available for the residents of Rothbury and surrounding villages. The work, which will take up to four months to complete and is being delivered and managed by Rothbury Cottage Care Ltd, will involve transforming the inpatient ward at the hospital into a homely residential care home with the provision of flexible NHS beds.

It is hoped that the community health and social care facility will be opened by November.

The flexible NHS bed provision will be available for patients who need longer-term recuperation and rehabilitation and end-of-life care. The facility will receive clinical support from a team of district nurses, GPs and nurse practitioners and will be provided alongside healthcare currently provided in the community and in peoples’ homes.

The clear admission criteria we have for both services should give confidence in the care that will be provided whether someone is in an NHS or resident care bed.

Stark lessons learnt from the last two years include that healthcare provision needs to be flexible if it is to be sustainable and that the focus should not be on beds, but on what is going to enable patients to get better and recover as quickly as possible and the best use of our staff and resources. It is clearly evidenced that medically fit people should not be in hospital beds.

It is fantastic that we are able to be part of a partnership which offers holistic care for people. We are also mindful that this is a new model of care so a detailed review of the NHS provision will be done at three and six-month intervals. They will include the number of admissions to health beds, reason for admission, length of stay, if patients are unable to access the health beds, including their reason for needing admission, and feedback from staff and patients. We can then make any changes that we need to.

This is the first time that Rothbury has had a residential care home within the village. Rothbury Cottage Care Ltd want to make the environment as homely as possible. The 12 rooms will all be en-suite and residents and NHS patients will enjoy home-cooked food which will be prepared on the site and have access to a day room. There will also be a laundry on site.

The same contractor that originally built Rothbury Community Hospital is undertaking the building work so they have extensive knowledge of the building and we have every confidence in their ability to ensure the facility is of excellent quality.

Other positives include there now being another local employer in Rothbury and supporting the local economy. It is hoped that most of staff recruited will be from the local community and full training will be provided. There will also be a day centre and Rothbury Cottage Care Ltd is also looking to provide home care subject to demand and recruitment. They will start advertising various posts from July.

We are committed to making this partnership work for local residents as we appreciate that people have had to wait for a very long time for a solution. We would like to thank residents and all stakeholders for their patience, feedback and support.


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