FAQ: Halesworth Health – May 2016

FAQ:  Halesworth Health

Health and Care

1 What is Halesworth Health (HH)?

A registered Charity whose eight Trustees are from the Patrick Stead Hospital (PSH) League of Friends, Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund (HCNCF), Cutlers Hill Surgery, and local residents including a retired lawyer and a parish councillor. All are unpaid volunteers. A Halesworth Town Council representative attends our trustee meetings.

2 What is HH for?

To safeguard and future-proof integrated health and social care services in and around Halesworth. It is widely recognised that the integrated team approach with services – the hospital, the surgery, the day centre and the community staff – all on one site, provides very good care; because Halesworth is on the margin of different boundaries – parliamentary, local government and health, we have often had to find local solutions to address our local needs.

3 What is the new project HH are proposing?

HH proposes a new purpose built health and social care facility, on land adjacent to the PSH/Cutlers Hill site. The new facility should include flexible use nursing care beds, community beds funded by the NHS (Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group) and facilities specifically designed for patients with dementia. There will be space for NHS outpatient clinics and services to continue.  A housing with extra care scheme (very sheltered housing) is also proposed.

4 Where exactly will it be situated?

It will be on the Dairy Hill playing field land, adjacent to Cutlers Hill Surgery, with a new access road. (Please note that this is a completely different project from the proposed HCNCF Information and Support Centre, for people with cancer and other life changing illness, which will be built to the south of the surgery.)

5 Who will pay for all this and manage the new facility?

Halesworth Health has, after a rigorous selection process, chosen a preferred independent care provider, with whom to work together. This provider, Castlemeadow Care, has drawn up impressive plans to build and run the new facility; they will buy the land and pay for the construction and running costs of the new building. Within the building will be NHS funded community beds for the type of patients described in Question 10. The NHS would fund these beds as they do now in PSH, but the flexible use care home beds would be paid for in the usual way.

6 Why this new development?

Halesworth and District has a very geographically isolated, elderly population, with a journey of almost 30 miles to any of the three District General Hospitals. Well over a third of the population are over 65 years of age, above the national and local area average. This is predicted to increase markedly in the next 20 years. Many people are living with multiple chronic illnesses, often including dementia. We therefore need excellent local integrated health and care services.

This is clearly in line with and reflects regional and national strategic thinking, especially as described in the report by NHS England in October 2014, “The NHS 5 year Forward View” which was generally well received. This discusses and recommends various new ways of providing integrated health and care more locally.

The Patrick Stead Hospital (PSH) is a Victorian building, which is doing an excellent job. It is however expensive to run and maintain and difficult to adapt or extend. It can also be difficult to meet some current patient needs in the existing facilities, especially for people with dementia, and planning ahead is needed now to develop and “future proof” the services. It has been very clear for several years that there is no plan for any development and no NHS money available for transforming the Patrick Stead Hospital. To do nothing was not an option, as we would have been left with no local services or beds.


7 Will we lose any services by doing this?

The intention is to maintain current services and to provide a wider range of health and social care facilities. These plans reflect the Halesworth Health core vision of maintaining and improving local health and care services. Halesworth Health and Castlemeadow Care have been working closely with the charity Halesworth Campus Ltd, as well as Halesworth Playing Fields Association and sports developers, to take projects for the whole local area forward. Enhanced sport and leisure facilities will improve health and wellbeing.


8 What about palliative care?

The majority of terminally ill people in Halesworth do already die in the community – 50% died at home and 40% in PSH, in the years 2011-2014; and over 90% also achieved their choice of where they wished to end their lives. These statistics are in stark contrast to national figures. The new facility will care for people at the end of their lives but patients will still of course have a choice to die at home should they wish.

9 What’s happening to Patrick Stead Hospital now?

There are currently 14 inpatient beds being fully used, a wide range of outpatient clinics and some day cases. Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy services continue. Various groups including those from the voluntary sector meet at the hospital. (The Minor Injuries Unit is now run from Cutlers Hill Surgery).

10 Who currently runs the hospital and community services?

East Coast Community Health Care (ECCH) is the Social Enterprise that is currently commissioned to run Community Hospitals, including PSH, and also employs the community staff such as District Nurses and Health Visitors, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. ECCH also operate the Rayner Green Resource Centre – which provides excellent integrated health and social day care, and therapy. They, and the CCG, are committed to maintaining the present services locally.

11 Who are the beds used for?

·         People who become ill and are not able to be cared for at home, but who do not require the facilities of a distant District General Hospital (DGH).

·         People recovering from an acute illness or from surgery in a DGH who no longer need the DGH facilities, but who are not yet well enough to go home.

·         People who require active rehabilitation or re-enablement before going home from a DGH.

·         People who wish to die in a community hospital rather than at home.

·         Short-term admissions for palliative care symptom control, which can’t be managed at home.

·         Day cases for blood transfusion and drug infusion.

12 What will happen to Patrick Stead Hospital in the future?

Gt. Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), after their Public Consultation in 2015, have decided to close the community hospital. They have promised that PSH will continue to provide the current services until the new facility is available. ‘NHS Property Services Ltd.’, who own the building, will decide the future of the hospital when it is deemed surplus to requirements.  Our current local MP Therese Coffey, is keen to pursue with NHS bodies the reinvestment of funds from any sale, back into the local community.

13 Who pays for Halesworth Health’s work?

The PSH League of Friends has generously funded Halesworth Health’s project consultants and publicity to date.  While we couldn’t have done this without their funding we are also very grateful to Edward Hare (Health Management Consultant) for all the support he has given us without charge.

14 How long is it all likely to take?

This is a difficult question as it is a complex project dependent on working actively in partnership with many other organisations. It is of course subject to the requirements of the Planning and Highway Authorities. If all progresses smoothly we would hope Castlemeadow Care building work on the new facility will start in 2017.