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Health chiefs pledge to heal wounds after north Dudley physio "shambles"
10:55am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
HEALTH chiefs have pledged to heal the wounds after being forced to admit an embarrassing communications breakdown.
Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust has admitted changing physiotherapy provision in north Dudley without telling Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which pays the trust to provide the service.
CCG chiefs, who insisted there had been no changes, were left red-faced after being kept in the dark.
Paul Maubach, Dudley CCG chief accountable officer, said: “There is a clear requirement that any changes which affect patient care must be discussed with, and approved by, us before they are made.
"Discussions were already under way with Dudley Group about a wider review aimed at improving community physiotherapy services across the borough. However, it appears that these local service changes were made before we, or the people directly affected, could be consulted on them, and this is extremely disappointing.
"Our efforts now are focussed on discussing with Dudley Group colleagues what action might be required on the affected services and how any breakdown in communications between our organisations can be avoided in future.”
Dudley Conservative leader, cllr Patrick Harley, blasted the CCG for not knowing about changes to services for people who he says now have to travel much further for physiotherapy.
Trust chief executive, Paula Clark, hit back branding claims there were no community physiotherapy services in north Dudley as inaccurate and misleading.
Ms Clark added some clinics were transferred for patient safety and environmental reasons and the trust had tried to ensure patients’ treatment programmes were not adversely affected.
She said: "We currently provide physiotherapy clinics in the following locations in the north of Dudley: Guest Outpatient Centre, Castle Meadows, Central Clinic, Northway and St James’s Medical Practice.
"As a result of these changes, waiting times for appointments have come down from eight weeks to two weeks.
"We acknowledge these changes should have been communicated better and were not communicated to the CCG by ourselves.
"These changes that have taken place since September are separate from the trust’s proposal submitted to the CCG to reduce the number of clinic locations from 19 to eight to offer an improved service with more appointment slots. We would like to stress that no major changes to the service will take place without consulting with GPs and patients."
Cllr Harley says the original services should be restored until full consultation has taken place.
He said: "Whoever is responsible for this has a lot to answer for, the whole episode has been an absolute shambles.
"Residents I have spoken to are up in arms, we are talking about a whole service provision being removed from seven clinics - partners and patients should be consulted."
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