February 2016 update

As expected, following the recent Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group Public Consultation ‘Shape of the System’, the Governing Body approved their proposals last month.  The proposals included closing community hospitals, including the Patrick Stead, and introducing care closer to home, provided by out of hospital teams and beds with care.  However, following strong objections from our GP’s, Halesworth Health, Town Councillors and the community of Halesworth the CCG have acknowledged that one model of care does not fit all, and have confirmed that the Patrick Stead Hospital will remain open until the new facility is up and running.  Castlemeadow Care have been carefully selected by Halesworth Health and have drawn up impressive plans to build and run a new facility on land adjacent to the current Patrick Stead/Cutlers Hill site.  The new centre will be a Nursing Care Home which will include nursing care, care for patients with dementia and for those in need of respite or palliative care.  The new facility will also incorporate the equivalent of the current Patrick Stead inpatient beds funded by the NHS.  Halesworth Health are working on the retention of the numerous outpatient facilities and services.  There are various options, but this will most likely be in the Castlemeadow Care building.  Castlemeadow Care would also like to provide and run some ‘housing with extra care’ units.

The Patrick Stead is much loved by the people of Halesworth, and has played a pivotal part in the history of the town, dating back to the early 20th Century when injured soldiers from WW1 were cared for there.  Many of us were born there, back in the days of the maternity unit and many of us have had loved ones cared for at the Patrick Stead with respect and dignity in their final days.  However, I think it is important that we now focus on the excellent health care service that is provided here in Halesworth and that we look to retaining and developing that for the future.  The staff are imperative to the success of the first class service that has always been provided, and without them there is no service.  The retention of existing staff is essential to ensure that the hospital will remain open until the new facility is ready.   Trained and experienced staff will be required to run the new Castlemeadow facility.  We all feel it is important to ensure that any funds secured from the sale of the hospital building, once services cease to be provided there, will be reinvested into health care for Halesworth, and our MP, Therese Coffey has offered to help with this.

The League of Friends will continue its work to support the health and care services provided for the people of Halesworth and the surrounding villages.  We will of course have to consider a change of name and a slight re-vamp of our constitution, and we will need a flexible forward thinking approach to move and work with whatever changes occur in the future. Our trustees and members are fully committed to working for the benefit of health care in Halesworth.  Of course this is all dependant on the continued help of the local community, who have, over the years always been willing to donate so generously their money and time to benefit so many.

We have received donations in memory of K J Wilkinson and Mrs C Austin and give thanks for these.

The League have been pleased to agree to the purchase of a digital weight and height machine for use on the wards and the outpatient clinics.

HELP – is there anybody out there that has a little spare time and an interest in joining our team of volunteers.  We are currently looking to fill the role of Minutes Secretary. Support and guidance will be given and this role can be adapted to suit the needs of the individual.  For more information please call 01379 588418.