Community health services play a crucial role in preventing admissions, supporting safe transfers of care and reducing pressure on general practitioners. We know that patients prefer to be treated closer to home when they can be; and doing so prevents hospital admissions. Health and wellbeing hubs provide services which focus on areas such as health promotion and offer support within a person’s local community to meet their wider health and care needs. They are one of the models that we are using to keep people well and as close to home as possible.
As population needs vary across the country and are influenced by a variety of demographic factors, transformation and service redesign is rightly being led by local areas. It is for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to decide on how to use their assets (including their estates) and structure the provision of health and care services in a way that is most appropriate for their local community. For some areas this will mean the introduction of health and wellbeing hubs, as seen in East Devon, whilst the structure may look slightly different in others. The underlying principle is that CCGs have the flexibility and independence to make that decision, and this is the approach the Department takes.