Mayor urges health secretary to intervene in All Hallows process
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The mayor of Bungay has encouraged the government to step in and help shape the future of an endangered hospital.
Mick Lincoln has sent a letter to health secretary Matthew Hancock regarding the situation at All Hallows Hospital in Ditchingham, which has been left with just a few residents since All Hallows Healthcare Trust announced its imminent closure.
The future of its nursing home and homecare services were secured on April 25 after being taken over by two separate providers, but hospital services are still under discussion.
On behalf of Bungay Town Council, Mr Lincoln has penned an open letter to the secretary of state urging him to get involved in the process.
“I would like to bring to your attention our concern at the potential closure of our local hospital,” he wrote to Mr Hancock.
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“This is not only because of the detrimental effect upon the immediate population in terms of health provision and employment, but also in the context of loss of services.
“As you will appreciate, the community is extremely concerned about what has happened.”
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In his letter, the mayor also highlighted the continued loss of health facilities despite the region’s aging population, citing a 29pc increase in over-85s in the decade ending 2011.
“While the figures show a steady increase in older age groups within our community, the services on which they rely continue to be cut,” said Mr Lincoln.
“In the local area there has been a sustained programme of closure of community beds at Lowestoft, Halesworth, Southwold and previously at All Hallows itself. We have absolutely no confidence that any decisions made will prioritise the needs of our community.”
Following news of the healthcare trust’s closure on March 20, it entered a 45-day consultation period with its 280 staff regarding redundancies.
Providers were meanwhile invited to express an interest in taking over some or all of All Hallows’ services - a process the council believes went at “an alarming pace” and lacked transparency.
“The hospital provision above all is what we are concerned most about,” continued Mr Lincoln. “We would like you, in your role as secretary of state, to intervene and require the relevant bodies to draw breath and take more time to look at what our community needs.
“In doing so, we would like there to be genuine local representation in this decision-making process.”