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Residents given four weeks to have their say on proposals to sell hospital building and stop day care services

PUBLISHED: 14:26 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:45 05 February 2018

Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth.

 Picture: Nick Butcher.

Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth. Picture: Nick Butcher.

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Residents have been given four weeks to have their say on the future of Patrick Stead Hospital ahead of a decision next month which could see the building put up for sale and services at a nearby day centre stopped.

Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.

 Picture: Nick Butcher.Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth. Picture: Nick Butcher.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has today launched the public engagement exercise into the future of the Halesworth hospital site, ahead of a public meeting on March 22.

Admissions have been closed at the hospital for many months, and the proposals include moving phlebotomy, therapies and services such as diabetic eye screening out of the main building and transferring them to the Rayner Green Resource Centre, located on the same site. However the relocation would mean the day care services offered at Rayner Green - which currently provides support for up to 15 people a day with conditions such as dementia, stroke and multiple sclerosis - would no longer be offered.

If the proposal is agreed by the CCG, then the Patrick Stead site including the main hospital building would be put up for sale on the open market.

During the next four weeks, the CCG will ask for people’s views on the proposals.

Rayner Green Resource Centre in Halesworth. Picture: Nick Butcher.Rayner Green Resource Centre in Halesworth. Picture: Nick Butcher.

They also include the CCG stopping health funding for Rayner Green, meaning alternatives for providing wellbeing, care and support would be through social care eligibility assessments, with those not eligible able to self-fund.

Melanie Craig, chief officer of the CCG, said: “We will be working very closely with our colleagues in Suffolk County Council and East Coast Community Healthcare throughout this process. Individual meetings will be held with people who currently use the Rayner Green Centre to discuss their options for care in the future. The staff who work in the Rayner Green Centre have also been spoken to and both staff and service users will be fully included in the engagement exercise.

“Our out of hospital teams and beds with care have been running very successfully across the CCG area for some time, and we are really pleased that they are now also benefitting patients in south Waveney. The next step is to make a final decision about the future of the Patrick Stead site.

“It’s important to stress that services such as therapies, phlebotomy and minor injuries will continue to be provided on the Patrick Stead campus.”

The CCG made the decision to develop new out of hospital services to provide care in patients’ own homes following its Shape of the System public consultation in 2015.

The CCG said the consultation results confirmed that once new services were set up there would no longer be a need for beds at the Patrick Stead site and the hospital could be formally closed.

The CCG has since committed £1.3m annually to fund a south Waveney out of hospital team, beds with care and a minor injuries service, with the new services starting last month.

People can share their views through an online survey or by completing a paper copy available at Halesworth library, while meetings with local groups will also be arranged. The results of the engagement exercise will be used to shape a business case for the future of the site, including the hospital building.

To fill in the online survey, visit www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/rayner_green/

For more information about the Shape of the System consultation, visit http://www.greatyarmouthandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/page_sa.asp?fldKey=92

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