Pallative-care plan in bid to save beds at village hospital

Protesters outside Rothbury Community Hospital.
Protesters outside Rothbury Community Hospital.

Campaigners fighting to reopen inpatient beds at Rothbury Community Hospital are meeting a health boss today, to present a proposal for ‘a new beginning’.

On September 2, the unit was temporarily closed after it was found to be ‘under-used’, which led to a review of the service by NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The future of the 12-bed ward will now be decided after a formal consultation period, which is due to start soon.

Today, members of the Save Rothbury Hospital Campaign are meeting Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer for the CCG. They hope to persuade the CCG to reopen the inpatient beds, but with a new focus to include social and palliative care.

Katie Scott, coordinator of the group, said: “Evidence we have gathered has enabled us to come up with an innovative yet realistic plan for our hospital. What we are proposing is just what the Coquetdale residents need, want and deserve – beds which will offer a place of safety and care. 

“We see a new beginning for the hospital as Coquetdale Community Care; a much-needed health hub incorporating hospice beds for North Northumberland. Our vision is for the GP surgery to be based on the ground floor and a variety of clinics throughout the facility.”

The group says that it wants to work closely with HospiceCare North Northumberland in regard to the provision of beds for palliative care.

The group is meeting Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan tomorrow.