Call for Brookfields Hospital beds to come back into use

YQ5J9852.jpgCambridge MP Julian Huppert and Councillor Kilian Bourke are calling for Mill Road's Brookfields Hospital to bring disused beds back into use to help cope with winter pressures in the local health system.

Romsey Lib Dem county councillor Kilian Bourke visited Brookfields recently to discuss planning issues in his ward, and saw beds that were in good condition but no longer used.


Separately, Julian Huppert met with the senior management team at Addenbrooke's Hospital to discuss ways in which capacity could potentially be freed up. The subject of the disused beds at Brookfields came up and he supports using these to help reduce pressure on Cambridge University Hospitals.


The Clinical Commissioning Group would have to make the decision to commission this service from Cambridgeshire Community Services and to fund it.


A recent Clinical Commissioning Group report concluded that the 10-12 per cent increase in A&E admissions combined with the recent introduction of its E-Hospital IT system had caused "significant problems" in the health system.


Cllr Bourke, in whose ward Brookfields is located, said: "I was struck during my recent visit to Brookfields Hospital by the number of empty beds on the wards that are no longer in use.

"It would seem to make sense to use some of these to cope with pressures at Addenbrooke's caused by teething problems with its new IT system and the 10-12 per cent rise in A&E admissions."


He added: "Our ageing population means that simply providing more and more beds at the acute end of the spectrum isn't an option. Providing more preventative care has to be the priority. But releasing some capacity at Brookfields would help over the winter period until the new integrated care service for our over-65s takes effect in April."

Julian said: "With Addenbrooke's under a lot of pressure and A&E performance still a bit slower than it was pre-E-Hospital it makes obvious sense to bring some intermediate care beds back into use.

"Some funding has recently been released for this purpose and I think there is a strong case for using some of it to provide beds at Brookfields. The cost of CCS providing beds is roughly half that of doing so at Addenbrooke's."


"I appreciate that this isn't as simple as it might sound, as some refurbishment work would need to be done and it will be a challenge to recruit staff at short notice. It is also important to stress that this is only one part of the picture. There needs to be a push across the whole system to reduce delayed transfers of care and avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital."


"But bringing some of the beds at Brookfields back into use would certainly help to alleviate the pressures on Addenbrooke's and provide some contingency capacity over the winter period."

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