Halesworth residents given four weeks to speak out about plans to sell Patrick Stead Hospital site and stop free day care services at Rayner Green

The Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth could be put up for sale soon. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

The Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth could be put up for sale soon. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: EDP pics � 2007

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have launched a four-week public engagement exercise into the future of the Patrick Stead Hospital site in Halesworth, with public meeting scheduled for March 22.

Halesworth residents have been given 28 days to have their say on the future of a local hospital service and day care centre.

Since 2015, the CCG has committed £1.3m annually to an out of hospital team, beds with care and a minor injuries service – with a vision to cut beds at the Patrick Stead site once the services were up and running in January 2018.

Now that the services have been launched, it is argued that the hospital should be closed.

The CCG has proposed that phlebotomy, therapies and services such as diabetic eye screening should be relocated to the nearby Rayner Green building.

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However health funding for the day care centre on the same site will cease, meaning patients would be means tested for financial support.

People can share their views via an online survey or by completing a paper copy available in Halesworth library, while meetings with local groups will also be arranged. In line with this, the decision could be made in March to put the hospital building and most of the surrounding land up for sale.

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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.”

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

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