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'Devastating news': Reaction after All Hallows Healthcare Trust announces shock closure plan

PUBLISHED: 16:14 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 20 March 2019

The Friends of All Hallows Hospital in Ditchingham during one of their fundraising events.  NICK BUTCHER

The Friends of All Hallows Hospital in Ditchingham during one of their fundraising events. NICK BUTCHER

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The loss of a healthcare service which supports more than 250 people a day would be "devastating news" for local communities, it has been claimed.

South Norfolk Conservative MP Richard Bacon Photo: UK ParliamentSouth Norfolk Conservative MP Richard Bacon Photo: UK Parliament

All Hallows Healthcare Trust, which has bases in Ditchingham and Lowestoft, announced it is likely to close after financial difficulties,

The trust has been providing care since 1872 and operates a 30 bed hospital, a 50 bed nursing home, a domiciliary care service and a day care service.

Bungay Town Reeve Sylvia Knights, who serves as president of the Friends of All Hallows Hospital group during her term in office, said: “This is a vital local facility and its closure would be devastating news for many people because it provides such vital services and acts as a halfway house for both major hospitals.

“The potential closure would have a severe impact in many areas.”

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: UK ParliamentWaveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: UK Parliament

The group was formed to raise funds and provide donations to the trust for equipment, with the largest donation being used to build the Day Treatment and Therapy Centre.

The group hold several fundraising events throughout the year and have raised more than £1 million since being formed in 1976.

In a joint statement following the announcement, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said they expected the services to be transferred to another organisation operating from the same sites.

They said: “It is very sad that the All Hallows Health Care Trust is unable to continue operating independently, after providing care for the local community for generations of families in the Bungay, Waveney and South Norfolk area.

“However, we expect the health and social care services currently offered by the Trust to be transferred to another organisation operating from the All Hallows site under new management.

“We are assured that health and care commissioners – who have a statutory duty to provide health and social care to all those currently receiving support from All Hallows – will ensure that there is continuous care during the period in which services are transferred to a new provider.

“In the short term, it is vital that continuous care is provided to all those who currently receive it and that the interests of staff are given full consideration. We therefore welcome the arrangements that All Hallows and the commissioners have put in place.

“In the longer term, it is vital that services both in the community and from the nursing home in Bungay and the hospital at Ditchingham continue to be available to local residents.

“Important steps have already been taken to achieve this objective and as MPs for the local area we shall work with the local community and the commissioners to ensure that this happens.”

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