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Petition to save services hits 1,500 signatures within 24 hours

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 March 2019

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

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

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

The chairman of a struggling healthcare trust has said the loss of services is "more than sad, it is tragic."

All Hallows Healthcare Hospital, Ditchingham. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodAll Hallows Healthcare Hospital, Ditchingham. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

John Chapman, chair of the All Hallows Healthcare Trust, issued the statement after calls for the service to be transferred to new management.

The trust, which provides care to 250 people each day and employs 280 members of staff, announced it is facing closure after financial difficulties.

Mr Chapman said: “It is frankly unkind and may give rise to false hopes to suggest that all our services will simply continue at the present location but under different management.

“The present situation has not come as a surprise to my board. It was evident a long while ago that without adequate income from our commissioners we would run out of reserves.

“For precisely that reason we approached them early last summer to share our concerns and hopefully to work together to formulate a plan that would avoid closure.

“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. By that stage our situation had become critical.”

Mr Chapman said every effort had been made to avoid the current situation.

He said: “If one looks at the statistics for closure of care homes and domiciliary care providers we are far from being alone.

“As we worked through this long and painful process we were committed to an understanding that, if we had to close, we would be able to look anyone in the eye and say we had done all we possibly could. We have.

“To reassure the public that in reality the entirety of All Hallows’ care services are safe and will continue under different providers does not presently reflect the true situation.

“We have certainly had expressions of interest in some parts of our work, but no actual offers to take over. For example, our slow stream neuro-rehab facility helps to meet an acute shortage of such specialist care locally.

“No one has offered to take this on and the reality is that the NHS and Social Care providers are now faced with the unenviable task of relocating many of those we care for in a healthcare system already reeling from massive cuts and closures.

“It is more than sad, it is tragic.”

A petition has been launched to save the services, with more than 1,800 people backing it in less than 24 hours.

To sign the petition, go to: www.change.org/p/andy-evans-save-all-hallows-hospital-healthcare-services-from-closure

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