The Physiotherapy outpatients’ service at Musgrove Park Hospital will be temporarily moved to Dene Barton Community Hospital from September to help Musgrove prepare for winter.
Musgrove has just faced one of its busiest winters yet with more patients arriving at its Emergency Department (A&E) needing urgent medical care than ever before.
As part of planning for this year, Musgrove and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Dene Barton, have been looking at how they can best prepare for winter to help those patients as effectively as possible.
By moving the physiotherapy outpatients service to Dene Barton, more space can be created for temporary beds to help prepare for any possible peaks in patient demand.
The inpatient beds at Dene Barton, which is based in Cotford St Luke on the outskirts of Taunton, have been temporarily closed since autumn 2017 due to staff shortages.
It is still not practical or safe to re-open the ward for the foreseeable future and the move will mean the space can be used in an effective way while the inpatient ward remains closed.
Clare Boobyer-Jones, director of allied health and psychology professions at Musgrove Park and Somerset Partnership, said: “Providing the best service and care for our patients is important to us and we want to make sure that we can continue to do this across all of our services.
“We have just come out of one of our busiest winters where we have continued to face unprecedented demand on our services and we expect to see that again this winter.
“With that in mind, we have decided to temporarily move our outpatients’ physiotherapy department to Dene Barton where we have space and free parking and the facilities to continue to provide a high level of care. This service is largely provided to Taunton residents.
“This will free up vital space to help our emergency department continue to see patients in a timely manner when they need urgent treatment.
“We have worked closely with staff at Musgrove Park and Dene Barton, as well as the Dene Barton League of Friends while considering this move.
“We also want to hear from patients and families to understand how this move will impact you so that we can continue to provide the best service for you.
“A survey is available here and we would encourage patients affected to please fill this in to let us know how you feel about the move.
“Thank you to everyone for your understanding and patience and we will keep you updated.”
We will be informing patients in time for their appointments so they can best plan their visit. The Orthotics service, hydrotherapy pool and some specialist outpatient appointments will remain on site at Musgrove Park Hospital.
Please pay close attention to your appointment letters if you are attending physiotherapy which will also include information on public transport and accessibility.
The move is proposed to take place in September and will be reviewed early next year.
Dene Barton has good facilities already in place for outpatient services as well as ample free parking.
It is a 15 minute drive from Musgrove and public transport, which stops near to Dene Barton, is available.