A research team comprising RAND Europe and Bournemouth University have been awarded a research grant from NIHR to study Community Hospitals. Community Hospitals form an integral part of the NHS in the UK, this study looks at their distinct contribution to patient care. Community Hospitals come in all sorts of shapes, and can be located in rural parts of the country as well as in inner-city areas. In the UK community hospitals differ in the nature and scope of services on offer; some provide maternity care, others (also) A&E services or day-surgery or care for the elderly. There are a range of different models of ownership and management or the level of integration with other services.
The study will also explore what comparable models of community hospitals exist in other countries high-income countries, and what the NHS can learn from it. Community hospitals may offer advantages for selected patients over larger hospitals, but unless we produce the research evidence we would not be able to tell which types of patients would particularly benefit. Community hospitals have a long tradition of providing more integrated care, perhaps something we can learn from to improve other hospital services and hospitals.
This new study builds on the systematic review of community hospitals Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (HSC) undertook with his colleagues in Scotland about a decade ago.1
For further details: http://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/community-hospitals.html
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health
- Heaney D, Black C, O’Donnell CA, Stark C, van Teijlingen E (2006) Community Hospitals – The place of local service provision in a Modernising NHS: An Integrative Thematic Literature Review BMC Public Health, 6(309). Web address: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/6/309