Facing the problems

The Major ChallengeCare of older people with long terms conditions60% rise in next four years

Growing older, rural isolation, on the margins of different boundaries – yet Halesworth has excellent care at and close to home

An increasingly elderly population

  • Nearly 3,000 patients are more than 65 years
  • Within twenty years over 50% of the population of Halesworth will be more than 75 years old
  • The major challenge for health and social care this century will be caring for older people with long term conditions
  • These include chronic heart and lung disease, diabetes, dementia and other mental health problems
  • A 60% increase in the next four years – the forecast for people with two or more conditions.

An urgent need to provide a modern unit for community inpatient beds

  • Patrick Stead Hospital is excellent, and much loved
  • But it provides a wide range of services from a Victorian building
  • It will be increasingly difficult in the 21st century for older buildings to meet NHS building standards
  • The inpatient beds are on the first floor. They are not under immediate threat, but they have been at risk in the past
  • Bed numbers have been reduced to a maximum of 14 to meet new NHS health and safety regulations
  • NHS capital investment locally has gone to high priority areas – and development plans do not include Patrick Stead Hospital
  • We need a new modern facility on or near the site for inpatient beds to continue to provide care close to home.

Rural isolation

  • More than half of the 10,250 people registered with Cutlers Hill Surgery live in the surrounding villages
  • The catchment area of the practice covers 300 square miles
  • It takes about an hour by car from the Halesworth area to reach any of the three District General Hospitals
  • Poor transport links means that a return journey by public transport takes the best part of a day
  • Halesworth has no Nursing Home and the nearest Hospice is an hour away by car.

On the margin of different boundaries

  • Halesworth borders different parliamentary, local government and health boundaries
  • In Suffolk, but with many health and care services provided by Norfolk, Halesworth has to work hard to make its voice heard
  • The NHS is going through the most radical change since it was set up in 1947
  • Co-operation between health care professionals and local communities is even more important.

Finding solutions

Seeing a need for a service and being prepared to take risks has achieved a lot. The team at Cutlers Hill Surgery has pioneered and funded services, sometimes directly or with support from Halesworth residents.

That’s why:

  • Fewer people are admitted to a District General Hospital as outpatients or emergencies than elsewhere in the country
  • Elderly people, who require particularly responsive care, get that care if they live in and around Halesworth
  • Local communities support the Patrick Stead Hospital of Friends and the Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund
  • Your contribution means people have choice and quality in services, particularly palliative care
  • Most people spend their last weeks of life where they want to be – most often at home or in Patrick Stead Hospital
  • Halesworth has no nursing Home or Hospice but 90% of terminally ill people last year died either at home or in Patrick Stead Hospital. Nationally fewer than four out of ten people die in their place of choice and less than 20% die at home.

Want to know more about our services? Go to What We have Now (PDF document). Click on Why Halesworth Health? to find out about steps to safeguard our health care for future generations.