At its August meeting the Board of Nottinghamshire Healthcare agreed to consult on the closure of its 15 bed inpatient substance misuse service at The Woodlands, Highbury Hospital and look at developing a new service model.
The costs of providing The Woodlands currently run at about £2m per year. These costs far exceed the income the Trust receives for the services there and this position is worsening, with no realistic prospect of bringing the service into financial balance under the current model. The service is currently losing money for two main reasons:
- The Unit does not usually have high occupancy levels – this reduces the Unit’s income
- The current funding arrangements do not cover the costs of running the Unit.
A significant factor for the Unit was the loss of its £567,000 pa contract for inpatient provision for Nottinghamshire County in October 2014. This was the equivalent of 6.5 beds.
Though new contracts have been secured since then, these do not cover costs. A detailed financial analysis has been undertaken of the Woodlands Unit income and costs. The Trust cannot continue to run the current service model at the Woodlands Unit within the available resources.
The financial losses have to be covered by the Trust and this jeopardises other services.
Staff are fully involved in the work to develop a new service model. We are confident that there will not be compulsory redundancies because we have vacancies in other parts of the service. Once plans are a little more developed we will consult formally. The Nottingham City Health Scrutiny Committee and Nottingham Healthwatch are aware of this potential service redesign.