Halesworth: Health proposals set to be unveiled

The hope is to offer more services for Halesworth's ageing population.

The hope is to offer more services for Halesworth's ageing population. - Credit: Archant © 2006

AMBITIOUS plans to boost health services in a Suffolk town will be unveiled tomorrow.

Halesworth Health is hoping to create a range of services, including a nursing home, dementia beds, palliative care and respite care, to help tackle the challenge of the town’s ageing population.

Now the charity is calling for people in the town to come forward and tell them what they think of their vision.

The charity, which has been created by Cutlers Hill Surgery, Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund, the League of Friends of the Patrick Stead Hospital and Community First Responders, is hoping to transform Dairy Hill Playing Field in partnership with Halesworth Campus – which is currently working to create new sporting facilities on the former Halesworth Middle School site. Halesworth Health is considering buying the adjacent land to build a new community and care centre.

This could provide outpatient services, minor injuries treatment, intermediate care, day care, respite care, dementia services, end of life care and long-term nursing and social care.

A very sheltered housing scheme is also being considered.

The aim is for all of the key services to be kept on one site, giving people access to a range of high-quality care close to home.

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Dr Richard Kell, chairman of Halesworth Health, said the town already had a well above average elderly proportion, and services were needed as this was expected to grow in the next two decades.

“In the next 20 years we will get a very elderly, geographically isolated population and we need the development of modern facilities,” he said.

“What we are trying to achieve is to really support, maintain and further develop health and social care for the future.”

Dr Kell said that now the group wanted the public to have their say on the ideas.

“It is a vision and we are saying there is an opportunity to link in with the campus proposals,” he said.

“There is some land to build a new facility on and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because if we don’t do it now, the opportunity may be lost.”

The group has been working with consultants and architects to draw up plans and these will be on show at an exhibition at the Rifle Hall tomorrow from 1pm to 6pm.

On Wednesday, there will be a chance to put questions to members of the project team from 4pm to 7pm.

For more information on Halesworth Health visit www.halesworthhealth.org.

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