Whalton Unit – More chances to have your say

People in Morpeth and the surrounding area are being given further opportunities to have their say about the temporary relocation of the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck General Hospital.

The unit, which provides specialist care and rehabilitation for residents, predominantly frail older patients, was temporarily relocated (from Foxton Court, the old Morpeth Cottage Hospital site) to Wansbeck hospital in December 2018 due to nurse staffing issues and an expected increase in activity over the winter period.

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is holding some additional public drop-in sessions in Morpeth next week.

The sessions will take place on:

Tuesday 24 September 2019, Morpeth Riverside Leisure Centre
Main reception – 10am-12noon

Thursday 26 September 2019, Morpeth NHS Centre
Main reception – 12.30-2.30pm

Tuesday 1 October 2019, Wansbeck General Hospital
Main reception, 10am-11am
South entrance, 12noon-1pm

Thursday 3 October 2019, Morpeth Town Hall
Corn Exchange room, 3-7pm

Janet Guy, lay chair at NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “We are very pleased that so many people have taken the time to attend our drop-in sessions in Morpeth last week. We have heard a lot of comments about how valued the unit is and the high standard of care received there.

“We know that this is an extremely important issue for the people of Morpeth and surrounding area and that is why we are holding some additional sessions to give the community as much of an opportunity as possible to have their say.

“All comments received are being collated and will be taken into consideration before we make any longer-term recommendation for the Whalton Unit.”

People are also reminded they can share their views in other ways either by completing the online survey available on the CCG website or by taking part in the independent research which is being carried out in the town centre.

Janet added: “We would like to thank the community for their on-going patience and urge them to have their say. It’s vital that we understand the views of the local population.”

The trust reviewed the decision in April and there was an agreement to extend the temporary relocation to allow more analysis into its impact.

This 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 Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November.

The CCG then anticipates being in a position to make a recommendation relating to the longer-term future of the Whalton Unit.

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