Healthcare trust’s difficulties ‘deeply disturbing’ for users

All Hallows Healthcare Nursing Home, Bungay. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

All Hallows Healthcare Nursing Home, Bungay. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

The struggles of All Hallows Healthcare Trust are “deeply disturbing” for many service users in the area, according to health bosses.

Sue Cook, New Director of Children and Young People's Services for Suffolk County Council

Sue Cook, New Director of Children and Young People's Services for Suffolk County Council - Credit: Archant

Despite providing care to 250 people each day, the trust announced this week that it is facing closure after financial difficulties, placing 280 jobs at risk and putting the future of the trust’s hospital, nursing home, day care and health care services in doubt.

Nadra Ahmed OBE, chair of the National Care Association, said: “It is deeply disturbing to note the forced closure of the service, which will undoubtably leave a gap for citizens in the area.

“The challenges of funding and staff recruitment are creating an instability in the market which may lead to more headlines of this nature.

“The government negligence of addressing the issues of funding for social care is inexcusable. Health and social care are basic rigts for vulnerable citizens and our thoughts are with those who will be directly affected by the loss of a service which will have supported generations in the locality.”

After the announcement on Wednesday (March 20), John Chapman, chair of the All Hallows Healthcare Trust, said the group were running out of reserves. He said: “Having opened our books and systems completely and offered to show them our cost structure, it was not until February 2019 that we were told that there would be no more money.

“Some cost saving proposals were made which, on the most optimistic basis, would not have addressed our continuing monthly losses remotely soon enough to avoid closure.”

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A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said plans to reform the social care system would be made as soon as possible.

They said: “We have provided local authorities with access to up to £3.6 billion more dedicated funding for adult social care this year and up to £3.9 billion for next year.

“We will set out our plans to reform the social care system for adults of all ages at the earliest opportunity to ensure it is sustainable for the future.”

Health and care commissioners, including Suffolk County Council (SCC), Norfolk County Council, Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG and the South Norfolk CCG, must now work towards securing continuous care throughout the transfer period.

A petition was launched following the announcement, with more than 2,000 people backing the call to save the services.

The petition, which has the support of this newspaper, can be viewed here:

OPINION: Geraldine Scott, EDP Health reporter

The dire straits All Hallows finds itself in will be a worry to the health service.

When a provider is providing poorly, with bad inspection ratings, it makes it more understandable when the cash is not flowing.

But when such a needed service is being provided, and ratings are good, it is frightening that it is still is not enough.

Caring for people is getting ever more expensive.

Not only is our population getting older, but their conditions are getting more complex.

And with the specialist services All Hallows provides this pushes the bill even higher.

It also brings into question just how much money providers are being given by commissioners to look after these very specialist cases.

It used to be the case that working in care was a profitable businesses. Those I speak to now say that is not the case, with many struggling to stay in the black and provide a high level of care.