Valuing community hospitals: Insights from policy, practice and research

Thursday 5 November (00:00) - Thursday 19 November 2020 (00:00)

Jennie Oldfield:, Tel: 0121 414 7054

community hospitals

The University of Birmingham and the Community Hospitals Association are delighted to be hosting this important seminar series on the value and place of community hospitals in the UK. We invite you to join us to discuss and reflect on new evidence and findings on community hospitals’ contribution and place.

Community hospitals are a crucial but often neglected part of the UKs health care systems; often very popular with local communities but facing challenges in an era of austerity.  COVID-19 has prompted us to make dramatic changes to way we think about and organise health care, including the role of community hospitals. Community hospitals have made a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing during the pandemic. In some areas they are being as covid-19 centres, with a particular focus on rehabilitation; in others they are being utilised for outreach acute services that need to be provided in a safe (green) zone. Whilst some community hospitals are extending their urgent care centres to encourage patients away from A/E departments, others are closing their minor injuries in order to redeploy nursing staff. The flexibility, resilience and strong community engagement typical of many community hospitals is being brought to the fore.  

At this critical time, new questions are being asked about the future role of community hospitals. To help inform our answers we can look to existing evidence on their contribution. Three major research studies have been published in the last two years which can help inform these debates. Together they have explored: the development of community hospitals in international contexts; the efficiency and effectiveness of community hospitals; and the profile, patient experience and community value of community hospitals in England. All provide valuable insights into the contribution and potential of community hospitals as intermediate care providers both now and in the future. 

Over the course of three Thursdays on the 5, 12 & 19 November 2020, we will reflect on learning from these studies, how they relate to the ways in which community hospitals have responded to the current crisis, and how they can inform thinking about the future role of community hospitals within a shifting health care landscape. 

This online seminar series offers an opportunity to challenge thinking and encourage debate.  The series will be chaired by Professor Jon Glasby, University of Birmingham, and supported by the Community Hospital Association. We welcome participation from people concerned and involved with community hospitals across the UK and beyond, including national and local policy makers, commissioners, trust executives, and providers, community hospital staff, and members of Hospital Leagues of Friends. We encourage attendance across the seminar series, to build an active debate amongst participants, but you are welcome to dip in and out. Attendance at the events is free, but registration is essential. The sessions will be CPD accredited. 

Provisional programme:

5 November, 2020: 11.30 – 13.00

International insights: What can the development of community hospitals in international contexts tell us about their role in healthcare futures?    

Chair: Jon Glasby, University of Birmingham         

12 November, 2020: 12.30 – 14.00

Questions of efficiency: Are community hospitals an effective and efficient way to deliver intermediate care and what might this mean for their future role?    

Chair: Jon Glasby, University of Birmingham

19 November, 2020: 12.30 – 14.00

Understanding value: How are community hospitals valued by their communities, and beyond, and what might this mean for their future role?

Chair: Jon Glasby, University of Birmingham