Health bosses to discuss the future of community hospitals today

The Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.

The Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth. - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

The fate of two much-loved community hospitals will be discussed by health bosses today after the public have had their say on proposed closures.

Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body will meet in public at 1.30pm this afternoon to talk about the public’s feedback on their plans to permanently close Southwold Hospital and Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth, next year. The CCG plans to introduce out-of-hospital teams of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and other staff from the health and social care sector, to provide treatment in the community and patients’ homes.

Southwold Hospital closed temporarily in August after a staff shortage prompted concerns over patient safety, and is yet to reopen. In addition, 15 beds from Northgate Hospital, Great Yarmouth, and five from All Hallows Hospital, Ditchingham, will be axed under the plans.

According to a 70-page report containing public feedback, between 55pc and 57pc of those who responded were against the proposed bed closures across all four hospitals, with about 20pc in favour.

But 53pc of the public agreed with the CCG’s proposal to develop more community-based services. And although 46pc disagreed with plans to introduce beds with care in care home environments, 42pc were in favour.

There were 1,181 responses to the consultation. The final decision will be made on November 5.

A spokesman for the CCG said: “This is the third time we have consulted on changes to health services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney. “During both of our previous consultations, the feedback we received was used to influence and shape our proposals so that we could ensure our final decisions truly reflected the views of local people.

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“We will use the results of this consultation in the same way.”

The CCG will also discuss the results of its consultation regarding the relocation of the Falkland Surgery in Bradwell and the Family Health and Gorleston Medical Centre.

The meeting is at Beccles House, Common Lane North, Beccles.

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