STRUCTURE: Torbay Care Trust is planning to implement new management structures for its community hospitals in a bid to ensure the delivery of “safe, effective and high quality care”.

A report to the board of Torbay Care Trust, which has recently taken on NHS Devon’s provider arm under the transforming community services programme, explains the community hospitals in both Torbay and Southern Devon are currently managed by general managers - known as zone managers in Torbay and cluster managers in Devon - who are responsible for all health and social care services within a specific area.

Under the proposed changes, a separate operating division (within the operational directorate) with sole responsibility for delivery in the community hospitals would be established.

Two of the former NHS Devon community hospitals were ordered to improve by the Care Quality Commission after visits in March, which raised concerns about patient care and dignity.

The report states: “This change is being proposed because there are a range of specific issues which require sustained and routine management in community hospital settings to ensure the delivery of safe, effective and high quality care.

“We believe that enabling one set of managers to specialise and focus on these issues will enable us to improve the quality of community hospital services and at the same time release capacity for cluster and zone managers to focus on building partnership and developing community based health and social care services.”