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Health services secured

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has agreed to continue providing important health services such as phlebotomy, therapies and diabetic eye screening in Halesworth so that they remain easy and convenient for local people to access.

At a meeting yesterday (22 March), the CCG’s governing body agreed to permanently move the services from the Patrick Stead Hospital to the Rayner Green Centre, which is on the same site. The hospital and the current physiotherapy buildings have been declared surplus to the CCG’s requirements for providing NHS services.

The governing body approved the recommendations subject to work being carried out to ensure a smooth transfer to the alternative services for the people using Rayner Green. Individual health and social care assessments for the people currently using the centre will now take place so that bespoke packages of care can be planned, with Suffolk County Council funding alternative wellbeing support for eligible service users.

The move comes after the CCG made the decision to develop new out of hospital services to provide care in patients’ own homes following its Shape of the System public consultation in 2015. It has since committed £1.3m annually to fund a South Waveney out of hospital team, beds with care and a minor injuries service, with the new services, starting during January 2018.

Melanie Craig, chief officer of the CCG, said: “This important decision will secure permanent and easy-to-access blood testing and therapy services close to home for the growing population of Halesworth and the surrounding villages.

“It comes following our £1.3m investment in out of hospital services, which are already making a real difference by making sure patients receive the right care as close to home as possible.

“This decision will also enable the Patrick Stead building, which has been under-used for some time, to move onto the next stage of its life.”

The decision comes following a four-week public engagement exercise, which saw 274 people complete questionnaires sharing their views on the proposals and more than 100 attend a drop-in event held at the hospital.

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Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG