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'Absolutely heartbroken': Why we're supporting calls to save All Hallows Healthcare Trust

PUBLISHED: 17:50 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:50 21 March 2019

Peter Leggett. JAIME LARTER

Peter Leggett. JAIME LARTER

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As concerned relatives continue to agonise over future care for loved ones, this newspaper is backing a campaign to save vital health services.

Peter Leggett. JAIME LARTERPeter Leggett. JAIME LARTER

In less than 24 hours, a petition set up on Change.org has hit more than 1,600 signatures calling for All Hallows Healthcare Trust to be saved from closure.

The trust announced it is facing closure after financial difficulties have put the future of the hospital, nursing home, day care and home care services in doubt.

Jenny Keeler, who set up the petition, said: “The response clearly shows the passion of local people and the need for this service.

“The news came as a shock. At the end of the day it is a service that many people rely on locally.

Peter Leggett. JAIME LARTERPeter Leggett. JAIME LARTER

“They offer care for patients under 65 when a lot of places in our area don’t.

“This is an imperative service and should be kept how it is at the moment.”

The trust has been providing care since 1872, with an estimated 250 people from across the region receiving care each day, while the closure would put 280 jobs at risk.

Andrew Fitchett, coastal editor, said: “We’re throwing our weight behind this petition to show the strength of feeling there is, not just from those directly affected, but also among the wider community.

“Losing the service is nothing short of a disaster for those who use it, and it’s essential we do not stand by and let it close without a fight.

“I’d urge everyone to sign the petition and share it far and wide.”

Following the news, concerned relatives have spoken out about the impact the closure will have on service users.

Peter Leggett, 84, from Beccles, suffers from dementia and relies on the trust’s services, including regular home care and day care five times a week.

His daughter Jaime Larter, 40, said: “I am absolutely heartbroken about this. For us, it is not just about the service.

“Unless they get the same staff on the same premises giving the same services, it is not going to be suitable for my dad.

“He is quite vulnerable and it took a long time for him to build up a rapport with the staff, so for him to lose that will be like losing a family.

“Especially with the day care side of things because there is nothing else like that available.

“We might have to look at residential care which I think is so unfair for someone who could have stayed in his own home and carried on. It is awful.

“They have really brought him out of himself and it has had an incredible impact on his mental health.

“The staff all go above and beyond.

“He had other services in the past but nothing compares to the love and care he gets with All Hallows. He used to have problem after problem but they have been patient and given him his dignity back.”

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

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