Challenging the Decision to Close Archways

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Public, patients and health professionals are united in their call to keep Archways open. In a thoughtful and evidence-based meeting, a unanimous case was made to keep Archways open, proving that this would provide the best clinical outcomes for patients. While it is essential that more is done to improve community health services, intermediate care is the solution to overcrowded A&E services and delayed discharge from acute settings, very real challenges here in York. Closure of Archways at the peak of the winter crisis would further escalate the hospital’s problems.

At a meeting which took place at Friends Meeting House York last week, York Central MP Rachael Maskell heard from people who work in A&E, work at Archways or have been a patient in Archways. This was the first opportunity that people had to raise their concerns, since the CCG failed in its statutory duty to consult, as set out under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

While there was support for the Trust’s vision to provide better preventative services and domicilary health care, the Trust are planning to fund this by closing the unit which aids in ensuring safe discharge and preventing admission into the acute hospital.

Ms Maskell says the Trust have been wrong to describe the unit as a place where someone languishes in their bed and experiences serious muscle wastage because Archways is a dynamic rehabilitative service which promotes independence and confidence enabling a successful return to home. By planning to replace this service with community visits the Trust has not grasped the full function of the unit, nor has it responded to how it can provide night-time rehabilitative support, the period when patients are at their most vulnerable.

Rachael Maskell MP says:
“The Trust must now rethink its proposals and listen to the very powerful case that health professionals, patients and the public have made to keep Archways open. As a senior physiotherapist working in the NHS for 20 years before being elected to Parliament, I can see a massive fault-line in the Trust’s proposal to close Archways. The focus for reform is on the wrong part of the service and it now essential that the CCG looks again at how they can address the challenges the current health system is throwing up, rather than salami slice transitional health care. Archways is a model of how health services should be provided in the future, it is wrong to cut this to address other pressing issues within the NHS.”

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