Out of hospital services for south Waveney approved by health chiefs

Sole Bay Health Centre in Southwold.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Sole Bay Health Centre in Southwold. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Plans to provide out of hospital services in south Waveney have been approved for 2018.

Beccles Medical Centre.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Beccles Medical Centre. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The governing body for the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) came together for a public meeting today to discuss the proposals and decide if they should be put into action.

Implementation of the services will cost £1.3m, a figure which does not take into account the money that is already spent on existing out of hospital programmes in Lowestoft, Southwold, Great Yarmouth and Waveney's northern villages.

The proposals ensure that there will be a dedicated out of hospital team for south Waveney, which includes the five GP practices of Beccles Medical Centre, Bungay Medical Centre, Sole Bay Health Centre in Southwold, Cutler's Hill in Halesworth and Longshore Surgeries which covers Kessingland, Wrentham and Wangford.

There will be beds with care, a community-based phlebotomy service and additional funding for the minor injuries service which the five practices provide for their patients.

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As the CCG governing body met to examine the specifics involved in the plan, the group's chief officer Melanie Craig said: 'These out of hospital services will give equity to Great Yarmouth and Waveney. A key issue has been the inequity within south Waveney, where residents rarely use hospitals due to the geographical location.

'It's important that all five practices are going to be supported by multidisciplinary out of hospital teams.

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'There are inevitably going to be teething problems, but we're going to establish a steering group between the practices, which will allow patients to be involved in implementation.'

The set of plans were recommended following the CCG's 'shape of the system' consultation in 2015, which led to the initial introduction of out of hospital services in parts of Yarmouth and Waveney. Beccles Hospital was also developed into an intermediate care facility.

After an extensive period of engagement with GPs from the south Waveney area and the governing body's approval, the services will be delivered by East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).

Once the new services are in place, the CCG will discuss a business case for the future of services on the Patrick Stead Hospital site in Halesworth, including the hospital building.

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