Councillors to agree an interim response to the Health Secretary on futureIvy Madziva
Councillors to agree an interim response to the Health Secretary on future of Rothbury Hospital.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called for an update on progress by the end of January
Campaigners claim their vision for the future of healthcare in Rothbury remains the best, while urging residents to attend a key meeting this week.
As previously reported, county councillors are set to agree an interim response to the Health Secretary on the future of Rothbury Community Hospital on Wednesday, January 23.
Upon announcing in November that more work needed to be done locally on the next steps, following the closure of the site’s 12 inpatient beds, Secretary of State Matt Hancock called for an update on progress by the end of this month.
A special meeting of Northumberland County Council’s health and wellbeing committee is to take place to discuss responses from health bosses to a number of review areas and questions, which were given to them at a very brief working-group meeting last month.
Residents and campaigners were left furious after this largely administrative event, with major concerns as to how their voices will be heard.
The Save Rothbury Community Hospital (SRCH) group says that when the committee first referred the closure to the Secretary of State in October 2017, it relied heavily on the documents compiled by the campaign team.
Dozens of emails have been sent by many organisations and individuals requesting that the county council recognises the group as being ‘the voice of Coquetdale’.
It follows the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), a non-departmental public health body, concluding that there were flaws in NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) engagement and consultation processes and that ‘further action locally is required to agree and implement the proposed health and wellbeing centre, potentially including inpatient beds, at Rothbury Community Hospital’.
Katie Scott, coordinator of the SRCH campaign, said: “We still have absolutely no idea what the CCG means by a health and wellbeing hub.
“Since the GPs have moved into the ground floor of the building, our original plan for the hospital, Coquetdale Cares, still makes the most sense to the local community.
“However, our plan, for a fully-functioning, integrated hospital, with nurses, paramedics, end-of-life and rehabilitation beds, social-services offices and so on, has been completely ignored by the CCG, which seems to be absolutely determined to get rid of community hospital beds, no matter what.”
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