The Whalton Unit provides specialist care and rehabilitation for residents, predominantly frail older patients. It was temporarily relocated from Morpeth to Wansbeck General Hospital in December 2018 due to nurse staffing issues and an expected increase in activity over the winter period.
This decision was reviewed in April 2019 by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and there was an agreement to extend the temporary location pending an updated report to enable a longer timeline for the impact analysis, with a specific focus on the experience of patients.
Prior to making any long term recommendations the CCG and the trust agreed to a programme of public engagement and independent research to understand the views of the local population in more detail.
During September and early October 2019, people in Morpeth and the surrounding area were given the opportunity to have their say about the temporary relocation of the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck hospital.
The CCG in partnership with the trust, held public drop-in sessions in Morpeth and carried out independent research to find out the community’s views.
The findings from both the independent research and engagement activity were collated and shared with the Northumberland Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November 2019 who agreed with the recommendation from the CCG’s governing body and the trust that the unit should permanently relocate to Wansbeck hospital.