What are Community Hospitals 

Community Hospitals are small local hospitals that provide a range of services to their local community. These can include community beds, maternity, clinics, minor injuries units, X ray departments and much more. 

Community Hospitals have been part of our health care system for over 150 years and offer a strong tradition of care that local populations have known over generations. There are over 500 community hospitals throughout the UK. 

Originally established as converted cottages offering inpatient beds, they have developed into hubs of services that have developed to meet changing needs. These services range from health promotion, diagnostics, treatments, rehabilitation and end of life care. The community hospital plays a particular role in intermediate care, and is a focus for integration for many staff and services in both health and social care.  

Community hospitals vary considerably, as they have adapted to the needs of their local populations. They are typically highly valued by local people, and this support is shown through actions such as volunteering, fundraising, promoting and campaigning. 

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The CHA continues to make the case for a national strategy for community hospitals.  This would require a nationally agreed definition, a database on services and activity, a defined role and purpose and a clear direction.   The CHA has been learning from strategies internationally, and the impact of these. 



The Scottish Government, with support and active involvement of the then Scottish Association of Community Hospitals (SACH) published a Strategy in 2006.  An update on this strategy, called a "Refresh" was issued in 2012.  These documents illustrate the importance of co-producing a clear vision for community hospitals.

Developing Community Hospitals - A Strategy for Scotland 2006 download here

Community Hospitals Strategy Refresh 2012  download here



The CHA is working with Professor Giovani Fattore and his team in the University of Bocconi who are advising the Italian Government on their strategy for investing in developing Community Hospitals across Italy. 





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