NHS review 'could close hospitals' in Somerset

Plans which could lead to the closure of community hospitals in Somerset have been unveiled by the NHS.

A Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) audit found 74% of beds in the 13 hospitals in the county were in use.

The interim report also states that 45% of patients would be better cared for at home or in a residential facility.

The report is part of five year strategy which is looking into the way care will be provided in the county in future.

'Use resources differently'

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, from the Somerset CCG, said: "It's certainly a possibility [to close community hospitals] if we don't require them to get the best outcomes for our patients.

"We need to make sure that patients with long term conditions, multiple illnesses and frail elderly patients get the best care and support they can.

"That may mean we have to use the resources in a different way."

The report proposes more services would be delivered in people's homes and within the community in the future, with fewer community hospital beds.

Health bosses say they will now seek reaction to the plans from local communities and "key stakeholders".

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