Sarah Wollaston, MP and chair of Parliament’s influential Health and Care Select Committee, was welcomed to South Hams Hospital, Kingsbridge, for a fact-finding visit.
Staff from Livewell Southwest Community Interest Company, which runs the community hospital, welcomed the MP for Totnes, who is also a qualified GP, and gave her a tour of facilities. The visit followed the revelation that health care regulator the Care Quality Commission rated Livewell Southwest’s care as “Outstanding” after inspecting services earlier this summer.
Dr Wollaston was greeted by hospital Matron Diana Green along with Livewell Southwest finance director and deputy chief executive Dan O’Toole, and chatted to nursing, therapy and support staff during the morning.
Dr Wollaston was particularly impressed when she visited a newly-refurbished treatment room which hosts Livewell’s innovative Wellbeing Club – treating people with leg ulcers in a way which provides nutrition and lifestyle advice, alongside wound treatment in a social environment. This holistic approach has reduced healing times from 18 months to just 12 weeks.
Other topics discussed included the introduction of “Red to Green” – a project used by nurses and therapists which gives the patient more say in what happens to them, and ensures something which promotes their recovery happens every day. The effect is to give a better overall patient experience, a shorter length of stay and improved health and wellbeing outcomes.
Dr Wollaston said: “‘I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers based at South Hams Hospital for their dedicated service and care, both within the hospital itself and reaching out into the wider community.
“It was great to see the ongoing developments and facilities and have the opportunity to hear direct from staff about innovative approaches to treatment as well as hear views about what matters most for health and social care.”
Lewis Bell, the deputy locality manager for the South Hams, helped to co-ordinate the visit and said: “We were delighted to welcome Dr Wollaston once again, as she always takes a keen interest in our work, our staff and our community. She has always been supportive of the diverse and wide ranging role South Hams Hospital provides to the local community.”