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Health services in Lowestoft could face a major overhaul

PUBLISHED: 12:01 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:02 17 May 2013

Lowestoft Hospital. Photo by Nick Butcher. Archant © 2010

Lowestoft Hospital. Photo by Nick Butcher. Archant © 2010

Archant © 2010

People in Lowestoft are being encouraged to give their views on proposals for a major restructuring of health services in the town.

The future of health care is under the spotlight, with the potential closure of Lowestoft Hospital and the possible creation of a modern health centre on its site in north Lowestoft in the options being considered.

As previously reported in The Journal, the future of the community hospital in Tennyson Road – which has served the town for about 150 years – has been discussed for a number of months, with a campaign to save the hospital from closure launched in March.

Next week, HealthEast – the new NHS Clinical Commissioning Group serving Great Yarmouth and Waveney – will launch a public consultation and they are inviting people in the Lowestoft area to give their views on proposals to develop “high quality, sustainable” health services.

The proposals have been developed by HealthEast in partnership with the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Coast Community Healthcare.

The Lowestoft Health Development Group, which includes patients, voluntary organisations and charities, has helped to create the consultation document.

HealthEast is asking for views on three options during a 12-week consultation, which begins on Monday. These are:

■ Move services to Kirkley Rise and develop services in north Lowestoft. This preferred option would see services move to the state-of-the-art health centre, which is currently being built at Kirkley Rise on Economy Road. Another health centre would be built in north Lowestoft to ensure everyone in the town could easily access services.

■ The second option would see the development of phase two of Kirkley Rise. A second permanent building would be built on the Kirkley Rise site to bring together a range of services under one roof. This could include housing, education and employment services. This option can only happen if the changes in the first option happen.

■ Limited change. Services would continue from Lowestoft Hospital with the new building in Kirkley Rise used as a home for GP services, an administration base and public health services.

Andy Evans, chief executive of HealthEast, said: “Our current system does not always deliver the care which people need and want, with gaps between different services, duplication and delays for patients. The proposals in this consultation are designed to address this, by providing high quality, seamless services in modern surroundings which are closer to people’s homes.”

The consultation runs until August 12. HealthEast will make a final decision in October.

■ View the document at www.greatyarmouthandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk or in GP surgeries and libraries. To respond, e-mail gywccg.your-views-matter@nhs.net, or complete an online for at www.surveymonkey.com/s/LowestoftPublicConsultation

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