People in Morpeth and surrounding area are being given the opportunity to have their say about the temporary relocation of the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck General Hospital.
NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is holding public drop-in sessions in Morpeth next week and carrying out independent research to find out the community’s views.
The sessions will take place on:
Wednesday 11 September 2019, Morpeth Town Hall
Corn Exchange room – 10am-2pm and 4pm-7pm
Thursday 12 September 2019, Morpeth NHS Centre
Main reception – 10am-noon
Friday 13 September 2019, Morpeth Riverside Leisure Centre
Main reception – 11am-1pm
People will also be able to complete an online survey available here.
The unit, which provides specialist care and rehabilitation for residents, predominantly frail older patients, was temporarily relocated from Morpeth to Wansbeck hospital in December 2018 due to nurse staffing issues and an expected increase in activity over the winter period.
Janet Guy, lay chair at NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “It is absolutely vital that before we make any longer-term recommendation for the Whalton Unit we understand in more detail the views of the local population.
“We know that this is an extremely important issue for the people of Morpeth and surrounding area and are holding a number of sessions to give the community as much opportunity as possible to have their say, alongside carrying out independent research in the town centre and having an online survey.
“We would like to thank the community for their on-going patience and urge them to get involved over the next few weeks.”
The trust reviewed the decision in April and there was an agreement to extend the temporary relocation to allow more analysis into its impact.
The period of engagement is the next step in the process with the findings from both the engagement activity and independent research scheduled to be collated and shared with the Northumberland Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November.
NHS Northumberland CCG then anticipates being in a position to make a recommendation relating to the longer-term future of the Whalton Unit.
Throughout the temporary relocation, the trust has met local campaigners and kept them up-to-date with the review.