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“Everything has been ripped out of Lowestoft,” campaigners demand halt for hospital auction

PUBLISHED: 12:27 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:27 24 October 2018

Protesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Protesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

The campaign which launched earlier this month has urged the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to reconsider the sale of the hospital.

Protesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building.
Picture: Nick ButcherProtesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building. Picture: Nick Butcher

Campaigners have bound together in a last-ditch attempt to save a historic hospital which is due to go under the hammer on Thursday.

If the auction goes ahead, Lowestoft Hospital on Tennyson Road will be another victim of the cuts and closures in the area, according to Lowestoft Coalition against the Cuts.

The campaign, which launched earlier this month, has urged the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to reconsider the sale of the hospital.

Frank Joyce, of Lowestoft Coalition against the Cuts, who launched the campaign to reopen the hospital as a medical centre said: “there are so many pressures with the health service, those facilities could fit on to this site.”

The boarded up building. Picture: Nick ButcherThe boarded up building. Picture: Nick Butcher

“It is already owned by the NHS and people have already put so much money in to it, you can almost say everything has been ripped out of Lowestoft,” Mr Joyce said.

Mr Joyce fears if the former hospital is auctioned off on Thursday it would be knocked down and turned into housing.

Jane Murray, Labour councillor for the Oulton ward on Waveney District Council is also campaigning against the sale of the hospital, which was founded in 1822.

She said, “I don’t blame the CCG, I blame the government.”

Since the closure of the hospital in 2016, and of Oulton Medical Centre in 2015, Lowestoft has been without a medical centre in the north of the town.

Cath Byford, deputy chief officer and director of commissioning with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Decisions were made a number of years ago that the Lowestoft Hospital site was no longer viable for the provision modern health services and the CCG continues to support that decision.

“The James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been involved in a process over a number of years to redevelop or sell the site to make the best use of limited NHS resources, which the CCG supports.

“The CCG is in the process of undertaking a feasibility study in north Lowestoft for a health site, and as part of this are considering suitable sites available.”

The hospital will be sold at auction on Thursday, October 25, by Allsop auction house and has a guide price of £475,000.

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