HOSPITALS: Stand up and fight closures

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Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust appears to be a hard-hearted organisation with regard to the elderly and vulnerable in our Northumberland communities.

Not only is it attempting to destroy the precious community resource that is Rothbury Hospital, but it has now taken away beds in Blyth Community Hospital too.

The trust seems to pay no regard to community voices, or to medical expertise and research either.

Look at what a highly regarded research paper published in July (RAND) says: ‘Key Findings: Community Hospitals are at the interface between primary care and specialist care, and community hospitals have the potential to play a major role in the management of acute and non-acute conditions.

‘Community Hospitals are an integral component of local health care delivery systems.

‘Collaborative working is a key characteristic.

‘The evidence suggests that a more strategic role for community hospitals might be timely within NHS England.

‘There is potential for community hospitals to be better integrated into the current healthcare system in England to offer an effective and efficient alternative to acute hospitals and to provide care health and social care closer to people’s homes.’

Yet the trust and the CCG insist on saving money by tearing beds out of community hospitals, and in our case in Rothbury, completely closing our 12-room ward.

It is time to stop the ideological, short-sighted determination to get rid of community hospitals. It suggests that the motivation is money, not care for the elderly.

We are on the side of the NHS, and we urge our trust and our CCGs to stand up and say ‘we will not close community beds’.

I urge all people who are prepared to fight these closures to join together and make our voices heard. See our facebook page

Contact me at

Katie Scott,

Co-ordinator Save Rothbury Hospital Campaign