Newly-formed group to fight for the future of Halesworth centre

Rayner Green, Halesworth.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Rayner Green, Halesworth.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A support group has been formed amid fears a vital Halesworth service could be cut as part of a review into health provision across Waveney.

The Clinical Commissioning Group HealthEast, responsible for commissioning health services across Great Yarmouth and Waveney has said it is carrying out a review of all of its services.

This includes The Rayner Green Resource Centre, and while a spokesman for the CCG said that no decisions had been made on the future of the centre, a group has been set up to try and protect it.

The Rayner Green is a Health and Social Care Support Centre whichprovides day care for older and vulnerable people, people with physical and mental health issues and those living with dementia.

The Rayner Green Resource Centre and Patrick Stead Hospital Support Group began in the wake of the CCG’s announcement that it would be reviewing how it commissions services and follows a temporary closure of the hospital.

Admissions to the hospital will be suspended at the end of the month because of staff shortages.

The new group includes representatives from the town council, Halesworth Health, the hospital’s league of friends, the Halesworth dementia Carers’ Fund, The Patient Participation Group and Halesworth Day Centre.

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A statement from the group said: “We are appalled and saddened to hear that the CCG are reviewing services including those provided at the Rayner Green Resource Centre.

“It is often used as an example of excellence both regionally and nationally, because it is a very successful and cost-effective model for helping vulnerable people with physical and mental health problems, especially those living with dementia.

“The Rayner Green provides an excellent service which enables many people to remain living independently in their own homes. A decision to close it would be a devastating blow.”

President of the Halesworth dementia Carers’ Fund Paddy Cox said: “Rayner Green Resource Centre means so much to so many. In my case, my wife, along with many others living with dementia and MS, is receiving care and understanding from the amazing staff.

“The stimulation she receives has been of such benefit to her in expanding her quality of life, together with the respite I personally receive as a carer.

“As president of the Halesworth dementia Carers’ Fund I wish to call upon our wonderful dedicated supporters of dementia care and family respite in our dementia caring town and surrounding district to lobby our MP, Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council and do whatever it takes to save our precious Rayner Green.”

The CCGH’s chief nurse Cath Byford, said: “Like all other NHS organisations, we are facing unprecedented financial pressure as demand for health services continues to grow. Put simply, we cannot afford to carry on providing the same services in the same way, so need to think carefully about how to do things differently.

“We have a duty to make the best use of our finite resources in a way that maintains quality services and benefits the largest number of patients. We are looking at all the services we commission, including those provided at Rayner Green, as part of this work but have not made any decisions at this stage.

“Every penny really does count and we will continue to work hard to make the best use of the money we receive, while retaining our focus on ensuring the services we commission are safe and of the highest quality.”