HEALTH bosses have outlined plans to move patients out of acute care hospitals and into community care hospitals wherever possible.

At a presentation by NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Vicky Pleydell gave its key priorities for the next five years.

These included transforming the community system; mental health and dementia care; standardising referrals and clinical care; children’s health; patients with long-term conditions, and prevention of ill-health.

Dr Pleydell said the CCG aimed to change the way people are cared for and said often the best way to treat people was at home or in community hospitals.

She said: “Community hospitals will look different in the future. Often people are in beds in hospitals like the Friarage in Northallerton when they do not need to be and would be far better off at home if the community service could support them.

“We are trying to shift care from acute hospitals into the community – using money from freeing up beds in acute hospitals to fund more highly-trained staff in the community.”

She added that children with complex health needs are also often better off being treated at home and wants to make it easier for that to happen.

Dr Pleydell said that while the future of children’s services at the Friarage Hospital is currently being looked at by an independent review panel, with a report expected by the end of February, she saw a need for the Friarage to change.

She said: “The length of stay at the Friarage Hospital is coming right down, but we are seeing more people having cancer treatments there and recovering from strokes.

“We want to maintain the services at the hospital but we will see a change in what is done there and we will work with the hospital as this happens.”