More than 100 attend All Hallows Healthcare Trust closure meeting
- Credit: Archant
Information about the future of a community's healthcare services was in short supply at a packed public meeting, frustrating people worried about those currently receiving care.
More than 100 people gathered in Ditchingham Village Hall on Saturday evening to express their concern about the proposed closure of the All Hallows Healthcare Trust, which treats some 250 people a day and has around 280 staff.
A petition to save the trust now has over 6,600 signatures.
The meeting, chaired by Ditchingham parish councillor Keith Weston, was also attended by Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, and Sylvia Knights, town reeve of Bungay and president of the Friends of All Hallows.
Mr Weston told the meeting that the board of trustees had been invited but declined to attend and instead held a closed meeting on Friday (March 29).
He read from a statement jointly written by the trust and the health and social care commissioners.
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The statement said: 'Following the announcement of the likely closure of All Hallows, we are working hard to ensure that those currently receiving care will continue to do so with another provider.
'We understand this is a worrying time for everyone involved but what to offer our reassurance that the current level of care will continue, wherever possible, until alternative care provision is found.
'It is our intention, that wherever possible, services will transfer to another provider with little or no disruption to those who currently receive care.'
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Mrs Knights said the trust is a 'vital community service'.
'My husband was born in All Hallows, my mother in law died in All Hallows,' she said.
'Sadly today I know money is the drive of everything. Too many people know the cost of everything but don't know the value of anything,' Mrs Knight said.
Mr Aldous said he has had 'some fairly detailed discussions' with the Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, Suffolk County Council and Norfolk County Council.
'There is an ongoing need for this facility to remain open in the area, providing care,' he said. 'I think from what I've been told, it won't be the same as provided by the All Hallows Trust, but there is every prospect we will be able to keep this facility and services going in a seamless form.'