Bexley's Community Health Services joining Oxleas

Sian Therese - Director of Bexley Community Health Services

Bexley Community Health Services will be integrated with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in May 2010 – subject to the approval of the necessary regulatory bodies.

The move will mean that around 400 staff presently employed by Bexley Care Trust (BCT) will come under the Oxleas umbrella. About a quarter of this number will be district nurses. Others include: health visitors, school nurses, community midwives, specialist nurses and therapists. Specialist children services will join South London Healthcare NHS Trust.

These services are presently run by BCT’s Director of Provider Services, Sian Therese. She will continue in a similar role when she becomes Oxleas’ Director of Bexley Community Health Services from May. A 21-year NHS veteran, Sian has been with BCT for the past five years and is working hard to ensure the upcoming integration goes as smoothly as possible.

Sian said: “The majority of our services are provided either in people’s homes or in the community, though we do provide a 24 bed inpatient care unit at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup. This mostly cares for the elderly who might be suffering from perhaps coronary or neurological problems.

”I believe there is potential for improvements in both services with this integration. For example we run a central booking desk for health professionals to access community health services. It will of course be available to Oxleas professionals after integration. We can also use the desk to signpost community health services staff into Oxleas services. In the longer term our aim is to streamline the process of assessments.”

Patients can expect to see the same clinicians as before. In fact the move will have real benefits for the people of Bexley by simplifying referral processes, improving access to services, extending clinical expertise and streamlining information management. Bexley Care Trust's Board said that it believed that local people will be best served by community services joining forces with a strong and experienced local health provider. Oxleas used to provide these services in Bexley before primary care trusts existed.

This move was approved by trust members at a Special Members' Meeting on March 16th, 2010, when a change to the trust's Constitution was passed enabling Bexley Community Health Services staff joining the trust to be represented on our Council of Governors.

Photo Caption

Sian Therese, Director of Bexley Community Health Services.

Published on 23rd March 2010