Hospitals sale cash should help patients

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey is pressing NHS bosses to spend the money made from selling two unwanted hospitals on health care for patients in the immediate area.

Dr Therese Coffey met John Westwood of NHS Property Services to discuss what will happen to the proceeds from the eventual sale of the Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth and Southwold Community Hospital, which the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group HealthEast decided to close last year.

She said: “The board of the CCG decided to close our community hospitals, switching resources into helping more patients at home and funding a number of beds with care in nursing homes.

“Once those places are established, the community hospital sites will be sold and I am pushing NHS Property to invest the sale proceeds back into health care facilities locally.

“We had a constructive meeting and NHS Property committed to look in detail at how they can help make the new vision for Waveney patients a reality.

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“Patients in north Suffolk already travel far to access health care services, as do their families and friends who care for them.”

Despite strong public support to save them voiced during the consultation, HealthEast’s governing body voted unanimously to close both buildings, with plans to replace them with out-of-hospital services and beds in care homes.

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The decisions were part of a package designed to save £4.3m a year and take pressure off the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston.

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