Update from Halesworth Health – February 2016

We know for certain now that, following their consultation, Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG will be closing the Patrick Stead Hospital, but only when there are replacement facilities available. There is no NHS money available to build new facilities, or to modify or extend this excellent, but old and expensive, community hospital.

Progress continues with the alternative solution, which is for the independent care provider, Castlemeadow Care, to build a nursing home on the Dairy Hill playing fields land, which they are in the process of purchasing. This new building, along with beds for nursing care and dementia, will contain NHS beds, like those at Patrick Stead, for people who don’t need to be in a bigger, distant General Hospital, but who aren’t able to be cared for at home. All the current outpatient clinics and services will be maintained in Halesworth, mostly in the new building.

Halesworth Health recently invited a wide variety of local staff to a workshop to hear their views on the plans, which was very helpful in trying to ensure local input into the proposals.

This has been a very long and complex process involving many charities doing their best to secure good health, care and sport facilities for the people of Halesworth and surrounding villages. If everything continues smoothly, a planning application should go forward in April 2016, so that work on new facilities can start in 2017.

The main concern about keeping the hospital open until new facilities are ready is the difficulty in maintaining safe staffing levels – many of the nursing staff having left after being unsettled by the consultation. Do please encourage any nurses in your friends and family, or any others you know, to consider working, even on a part time or occasional basis, at the Patrick Stead Hospital.