HH plans gain a boost from feedback figures – posted 18th January 2013

Halesworth Health wants to thank everyone for the positive feedback received at the recent exhibition of our plans, in spite of the snow and ice causing problems for visitors.

Dr Richard Kell, Chair of Halesworth Health said, ‘We asked everyone who came to fill in a feedback form and I’m pleased to say that we received almost 100% support for our plans for a new Health and Care Centre in the town. We would like to thank everybody who turned out, we know it was difficult, but the timing had to coincide with a report that will be going to the NHS commissioners HealthEast in the next few weeks. Thanks to the people who came, we will be able to back up our case for a new, purpose-built Health and Care facility.’
Halesworth Health has been looking at the future health and care needs of the population in the Halesworth area. Dr Kell explains, ‘We know that the UK population is ageing generally, but in the Halesworth area we have a much higher than average proportion of elderly people – at present 38% of our patients are over 60, and that figure is set to rise in coming years. Also we expect to see an increase in the number of people with dementia and other chronic diseases. We have to make sure that our services are ready to cope.’
Dr Kell emphasises that Halesworth does have an excellent range of care services available at present and all the agencies work together, along with charities that help provide funds for extra care and equipment. Halesworth Health wants all the existing services to continue, including outpatient and day care facilities. However, the Patrick Stead Hospital is a Victorian building and has limitations which mean it may not always be able to meet new NHS requirements. The proposed new building would offer inpatient beds as well as nursing home care, respite care and specialist dementia care. It could be built on land that is due to be sold by Halesworth Campus as part of its scheme to create new sports facilities on the former Middle School site. The land at Dairy Hill, which is adjacent to the present Cutlers Hill Surgery and Patrick Stead Hospital site, has been scheduled for housing, but planners may consider allocating a part of the site for a nursing home with inpatient beds. Dr Kell said, ‘The land that is available is adjacent to our existing hospital and surgery, so we could have everything on one extended site – it’s a now or never opportunity.’
He added, ‘All of the people who came to our exhibition expressed their support for our plans, and some went further to suggest other services they would like to see delivered locally. We can’t make any promises, but we will look at all of those requests. On average we are almost 30 miles from any of the nearest District General Hospitals, so it makes sense to maintain our excellent local health and care services, and to prepare for future need.’


To see the Halesworth Health display boards click here

To take a look at the architect’s plans and examples of previous similar schemes click here