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Outpatient services moved back to main hospital building in Halesworth

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:11 18 November 2016

Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Outpatient services at the Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth have been moved back into the main hospital building.

Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherPatrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The services, which include phlebotomy, gynaecology, dermatology and ear, nose and throat (ENT) along with the Alzheimer’s Carers Group and Parkinson’s Support Group, were moved to the physiotherapy block after inpatient admissions were suspended at the hospital in October.

However people using the service said the facilities were inadequate, and raised concerns about the lack of space and confidentiality.

Tony Goldson, Suffolk county councillor for Halesworth, said he has been working with Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) to get the services moved back.

“It wasn’t suitable, it didn’t allow for dignity or privacy,” he said. “I’m very pleased they have now been moved back.”

ECCH said last month that clinics had been run out of the physiotherapy block for many years and that all of the compliance assessments had been completed. However they said the situation was being looked at.

Adele Madin, ECCH director of adult services, said: “ECCH has reviewed the outpatient provision at Patrick Stead Hospital after recognising that the waiting area had become a little cramped.

“We have decided to move some services back into the main hospital from this week whilst we consider plans to make further alterations to the physiotherapy block. Those service that have always been provided from the physio block continue there, such as physiotherapy and community nursing.”

Inpatient admissions were temporary suspended after concerns that staffing had reached a “critical level.” The situation is being monitored on a monthly basis, with the CCG due to discuss it again at the start of December.

Mr Goldson said: “We have got to have an intermediate care bed facility in Halesworth.”

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