Nairn Hospital - Staff Describe their Experiences in a New Video

Dr Alastair Noble, CHA committee member and lead for CHA Scotland, has been the driving force behind the creation of a video about Nairn Town and County Hospital and Primary Care Centre where he previously worked as a GP. Staff interviewed on the film talk about the value of the service and the importance of working together in a way that is co-located and integrated.  The film is a celebration of all that has been achieved, including the hospital's development and expansion. Dr Noble is promoting community-based care wherever possible.  The film is available to watch on youtube here 


Cancer Research UK Chairman, Lord Stevens, tours ‘excellent’ expanding facilities at West Berkshire Community Hospital “We are very lucky to have such a wonderful facility in the Newbury area to provide treatment close to home for patients”, said Dr Tayton, of the Newbury and Thatcham Hospital Building Trust, who added that WBCH is likely the most up to date community hospital in the UK.Read more here

Frome Community Hospital road fixed by local firms

A road with a number of large potholes near a community hospital is being repaired, thanks to the goodwill of local contractors. The full resurfacing of the access road to Frome Community Hospital was estimated to cost £35,000, but the work is being carried out for free with donated services and materials from several local companies. Nick White, from Trustee Friends of Frome Hospital, said: "It's a tremendous effort by local people. Read more here

Forest of Dean Community Hospital was honoured with a visit by the Princess Royal

Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal has performed the official opening of the Forest of Dean Community Hospital. The building, which has been operational since May, provides inpatient beds, a Minor Injury and Illness Unit, an outpatient department. Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust said it provides a purpose built, modern facility. It replaces the two former Forest hospitals and the Trust says it will meet the needs of the local community now and in the future. Read more here

Cataract Surgery at Edgeware Community Hospital

A married couple had their cataract surgery together at Edgeware Community Hospital.  Anne Marie Williams, sister in charge at the day surgery unit, said: “It’s a rare occasion to have a couple go through surgery together. It makes a routine procedure unique, and it was special for the nurses who were taking care of them – it brings smiles to their faces.”  The Royal Free London operates an ophthalmology service from Edgware Community Hospital, where the majority of the trust’s 3200 cataract surgeries are performed in the eye surgery hub each year.  Read more here

Bishops Castle Community Hospital's much-missed inpatient unit will start welcoming patients again in July

The in-patient unit at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital is on course to re-open in mid-July, a health trust has now confirmed.  In April, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust delighted campaigners by confirming that the ward, which had been closed for two years, would be re-opened following a successful staff recruitment campaign.  Read more here

Mindfulness Garden at Halstead Community Hospital launched

Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex  officially officially opened the Mindfulness Garden at Halstead Community Hospital last Thursday.The space has been funded by the League of Friends, and supported by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). It will be used as a tranquil space for patient rehabilitation and staff relaxation. Read more here

Bishops Castle - Success! - People power helps reopen community hospital's inpatient ward 

People power has helped save a community hospital's inpatient beds after campaigners supported efforts to recruit staff to reopen the ward. Shropcom Chief Executive, Patricia Davies praised the efforts of the community and trust staff in the recruitment drive, and said the success had provided lessons for recruitment elsewhere.  Read more here   Thanks to Chris Humphris of the CHA for his support to the community and the campaign group.


Teignmouth Hospital campaigners 'euphoric' after council support to keep building open

Supporters of Teignmouth Hospital say they are ‘euphoric’ after Teignbridge councillors voted in favour of another bid to keep the historic NHS building open.  Their sustained campaign received a much-needed boost as Teignbridge councillors agreed to push ahead with a referral to the Secretary of State to reconsider the closure.  A councillor said "There is a lot of work to do to get the evidence together and we have to add to the work which was already done by Devon County Council but we will make sure we will put the referral in as soon as we can.’  This is the first time that a community hospital closure proposal has been referred to the Secretary of State twice - once by Devon County Council and now by Teignbridge District Council.  Read more here 

New 15 bed ward opens at Coalville Community Hospital 

A third adult ward has opened at Coalville Community Hospital.  The new ward will provide rehabilitation and health care for up to 15 patients to help maximise their recovery and enable them to take their next step before they go home or to a residential or care home.  The hospital, which is run by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, also has a dedicated stroke ward, and a general ward providing sub-acute, rehabilitation and end-of-life care.

Sam Leak, director of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust's community health services, said that the additional 15 beds at Coalville come on top of a new ward in Loughborough and an additional five beds opened in Hinckley. We have an ongoing recruitment campaign to recruit the 225 staff for the additional 52 beds across our network of community hospitals.”  Read more here

Rye - Delivering the UK's First Carbon-Neutral Community Hospital

Steve McGregor, Group Managing Director of DMA Group tells how his company worked with the Rye Charity Trustees in their aim to reduce demand, curb emissions and limit global warming. Steve Mc Gregor says "We are incredibly proud to have supported Barry and his team to help them achieve a national first – becoming a fully-functional, net-zero community hospital."  The article describes how this was achieved.  Read more   Do read the case study of Rye on the DMA website here . We congratulate the DMA Group for winning the Energy Savings Award 2023 for their work with Rye Hospital. Read more here

Health chiefs to consider reopening inpatient ward at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital

The 16-bed inpatient unit at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital has been closed since October 2021 due to a struggle recruiting the amount of staff needed to run the service safely. However, following a protest from the Save Our Beds campaign, the trust decided to expand services at the community hospital and implement a ‘targeted recruitment campaign’ for inpatient services. The inpatient service needs to recruit two more members of staff to safely reopen. ShropCom will discuss the future of the inpatient unit and the next steps required at their meeting in April.  Read more here

Long Delays in Shropshire

The past five years has seen a huge rise in the number of patients facing long delays at Shropshire's A&E departments.  Over 1,000 people waited more than 12 hours in the A/E Department in Shropshire  December 2023.  On average throughout December, there were 44 patients who had been in hospital for more than 14 days waiting for a rehab bed in a community hospital or nursing home.   Read more here

Proposed Closure of St Peters Community Hospital Maldon

There are plans to close St Peters Hospital permanently as the 150 year old building is considered no longer fit for purpose. The birthing unit moved to Braintree Community Hospital in August 2023. The Stroke Rehabilitation beds were moved to Brentwood Community Hospital last year. A report on proposals cite outpatient clinics and says  clinics such as orthopaedics, rheumatology, radiology and ultrasound which need to be together and might be based outside of the Maldon district.   There is a consultation on 2 options, which is open until 21st March.  Consultation here  Read more here

New surgical hub in St Austell Community Hospital 

The £15 million modular build is set to deliver around 5,000 day surgery procedures a year. Located in the grounds of St Austell Community Hospital, the hub will have two theatres, four recovery bays and six pre-op assessment rooms, as well as a reception and waiting areas.  Read more here 

Beccles Hospital set to mark special 100th anniversary

The centenary display will be open to the public from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday, February 24 which is 100 years to the day of the original opening ceremony.  It will also be open from 10am to 5pm on Sunday, February 25.  Signed copies of the book “Beccles and its Hospital – a Century of Caring”, which was written in 2004 by former nurses Pam Hardman and Maureen Saunders, will be auctioned with proceeds going to the League of Friends.  Read more here 

Victory in fight to Save Seaton Community Hospital

Seaton Community Hospital has been granted the status of an ‘Asset of Community Value’ in a big win for the campaigners fighting to save an endangered wing at the hospitalBeing listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ means the facility provides a positive benefit for the local community and should be protected. Once listed, the local community will be informed if they are listed for sale or removal.  Read more here

Get Creative

Dr Bob Liddell, GP in Turriff and for many years a member of the Scottish Association of Community Hospitals, has had a letter published in The Scotsman commenting on the need for well resourced community hospitals.

"I read with a heavy heart of the plight of people who had to wait up to 80 hours for care over the festive period.  Part of the answer lies in having a network of locally based and well resourced primary care centres, largely using existing premises, where patients can be seen with minor injuries and the range of acute illnesses normally dealt with by GPs.  In rural areas community hospitals provide the ideal focus for out of hours emergency care – including, for suitable patients, inpatient care. They should be supported and opened, not closed, regarded only as a great source of “savings”."  (Dr) Robert W Liddell, Turriff, Aberdeenshire  published in The Scotsman 11th January 2024

Read the letter in full here

Campaigners praise NHS as hospital ward gets recruitment success

A campaign group has praised the NHS for helping to save a community hospital ward. The 16-bed unit at Bishop's Castle Community Hospital shut in 2021 due to staff shortages but in September, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust promised another recruitment drive.  The move led to a number of new staff being taken on and a campaign group said everyone was "very appreciative". More recruitment events were planned in future months.Jenny Sargent, chair of Bishop's Castle Save Our Beds, said after two years of campaigning the group was now "working well with the trust"It had also been included in meetings and interviews for potential new recruits.  "They have been very positive and we are very appreciative," she added. Read more   New staff are being offered up to £3,000 as an incentive to work at the community hospital. Campaigners have welcomed what they call a £3,000 'golden handshake' for new staff as attempts to recruit people for the much loved community hospital saw interested local nurses turn up for a drop in at the hospital on Saturday. Read more 

Bishop Auckland Hospital - Additional Community Beds

Extra healthcare services are being provided in County Durham ahead of the busy winter period thanks to the expansion of a community hospital. Additional beds are being used at Bishop Auckland Hospital to cope with increased demand and extra capacity required at this time of year. The County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust is working towards several key targets to help ease the pressures in the coming months. They include: additional ambulances, an expanded urgent community response, and same day emergency care. The trust’s chief executive Sue Jacques said opening Bishop Auckland Hospital to allow extra services has helped alleviate some of the pressures. She said: “It’s a really bustling environment and very different to what it was five years ago. We have opened additional beds there. We’re using Bishop to the full and have expanded the amount of elective work that’s being done there.”  Read more

Public Accounts Committee Report on New Hospital Programme

The PAC has published a report which declares no confidence that the 40 new hospitals promised in the Government programme will be delivered.  Read the report here    Community hospitals included in the programme included 4 in Dorset - Poole, Dorchester, Bournemouth and Christchurch; and Shotley Bridge in Durham.   Read the programme here   

Major winter beds shortage fears at Burton and Derby hospitals

Papers from the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust show that by January 2024 the organisation could be 163 beds short of the space it needs.  The Royal Derby Hospital the trust aims to reduce the bed deficit by changing the “patient flow” for stroke patients, moving services to Florence Nightingale Community Hospital, (previously known as London Road Community Hospital).  Read more

Award for art installations at East Lothian Community Hospital

NHS Lothian Charity’s Tonic Arts Programme received an award win at the 2023 Building Better Healthcare Awards, held at The Brewery in London, for their holistic and pioneering art and environment strategy at the new East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington.  Feedback from patients and staff has been positive. Anne Bisset, Patient, Carer and patient representative on the commissioning team, said: “When you’re in hospital as a patient, your world becomes extremely small, you’re confirmed to a quite a small space and your day’s very routine and monotonous. To be able to go and look at a piece of artwork – is a respite from everything else.”  Read more   

Minister for Health turns sod on new Letterkenny Community Hospital

Stephen Donnelly, Health Minister, turned the sod on Letterkenny community hospital.  The new Letterkenny Community Hospital will comprise of 110 beds including a mix of long/short stay rehabilitation and dementia care with associated resident accommodation. The net construction cost of the facility is €52 million, and it is anticipated to be operational in early 2026. Minister Donnelly described the new facility as a ‘game changer’ which will provide fantastic care and increase the number of discharge beds available for the hospital. Read more 

Glan Clwyd ‘at breaking point’ as calls made for community hospital 

Rapid action is needed to open a long-awaited new community hospital in Rhyl amid “unacceptable” pressure at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan, a MS has said. Plans for a new hospital, on the former Royal Alexandra site in Rhyl, were revealed in 2013, but have yet to materialise.  Proposals included community beds, a same day minor injuries and illness service, a treatment zone, outpatient therapy services, sexual health, community dental, radiology, adult psychology and mental health services.   Read more 

Fake Nurse at St Andrews Community Hospital

A health board has been reprimanded after a woman pretending to be an agency nurse was able to assist with the care of a patient and access sensitive medical records at St Andrews Community Hospital.  A spokesperson for the health board said: "The individual was only on a ward for a short period of time and left shortly after being challenged by a member of the nursing team. While the person was never alone with any patient, they did have access to a handover document containing information relating to patients on the ward."   A reprimand, issued by the Information Commissioners Office states that the person - who identified themselves as an agency nurse - was handed the treatment plans of the patients due to "a lack of identification checks and an unclear process".  The report also notes that CCTV on the ward had been accidentally turned off at the time, meaning NHS Fife and Police Scotland have been unable identify the person involved.  Read more

Teignmouth Hospital closure plan paused after critical report

Devon County Council’s health and adult care scrutiny committee agreed more evidence will be gathered before councillors decide whether to refer Teignmouth Hospital’s planned closure to the health secretary again. The local community are campaigning to keep Teignmouth Hospital.  In the meantime, planning approval has been given to a new Health Centre which will replace services from the hospital. Read more   Also BBC Devon hereRead the Response of the CHA to the BBC, written by Dr Kirsty Protherough here 

'It's a scandal': Protesters rally together in bid to save empty wing at Seaton community hospital

Protesters trying to save an empty wing at a hospital in Devon have said it is a "public scandal" that so much money has been spent on it while it has been out of use. Dozens of campaigners gathered outside Exeter's County Hall in a bid to save the two-story wing at Seaton Community Hospital ahead of a meeting with Devon's Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee. NHS Devon is planning to hand back the hospital ward to its property service due to a 'lack of financially viable plans' for the space. Read more

Memorial Care Centre Rye - A Good Practice Model 

Peter Dale, now Chair of the South East England Forum on Ageing (SEEFA)  was one of the original project team for the development of the Rye community hospital and services.  Peter celebrates the achievements of the community in an article published on the Age Alliance website.    Peter writes "It is an example of what can be achieved by a combination of professional collaboration, community involvement and a willingness to “join the dots” between services." Read here    Read Peter's paper "A New Narrative on Ageing" here

CHA joins a Care Coalition to Call for High Quality Care for People in the Final Years of Life

The CHA has joined a coalition of Care organisations to call for improvements to the care of people in their final years. A joint letter to the Secretary of State was signed by all parties. Organisations signing this open letter are: the CHA with Gold Standards FrameworkNational Care ForumBritish Geriatric Society,  Association of Retirement Communities Operators ,   Care England, and Homecare Association  

“We, as a coalition of leading health and care frontline organisations, urge you to improve EOLC:

Sue Greenwood, CHA committee member represented the CHA at the most recent meeting in November. We will report on progress. 

CHA Chair Comments on Delayed Discharges Comparisons

Dr Kirsty Protherough was called upon to offer insights on the data issued by NHS England which showed delayed discharges in community hospitals in comparison to those in acute hospitals.  Kirsty makes the case for a nuanced understanding and explains the role and contribution of community hospitals. Kirsty writes" . Senior healthcare leaders must acknowledge that properly resourcing Community Hospitals to cater based on their unique needs, to their local populations, rather than closing beds, can alleviate pressure on the acute sector, shorten hospital stays, and enhance the overall experience of older adult patients, their families, and friends. It is imperative that we approach this issue with a nuanced understanding to ensure the continued effectiveness of our Community Hospitals."  Read the full article  here

Rye Hospital becomes the first in the UK to become Carbon Neutral

Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital has become the UK’s first hospital to achieve carbon neutrality.  “Our goal was always to become a fully functional net zero community hospital, but to have done it so quickly and as the UK’s first is beyond our expectations."  Barry Nealon, chairman at Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital.   Read more on their website here, which includes a summary of achievements and interviews on media Here    Barry Nealon and Jo Posnette spoke at a national conference "Our People, Our Planet" sharing their achievements.

Hub on Rye Hill Open Day at Rye Hospital 

The Rye Hospital charity held an Open Day at their Community and Wellbeing Hub to celebrate the international year of the older person.  The hub is in the grounds of the hospital, and offers a community communal space.  There were stands of voluntary organisations, activities, taster sessions for services such as massage and foot care, live music, and delicious food from the cafe. There was a great atmosphere, and a chance for local people to spend time there and see what is on offer.  Jo Posnette (Trustee Rye Hospital and CHA committee member) and Helen Tucker (President CHA) and Peter Dale (Chair of the South East England Forum on Ageing) were members of the original project team for the redevelopment of the hospital and were pleased to be part of the day. Congratulations to all involved. Read more here in the article "Community at its Best"



 Community Raises £1m to reopen Edward Hain Hospital as a Health and Wellbeing Centre 

Edward Hain hospital was closed in 2020, but the community raised more than £1million to allow the building to reopen as the Edward Hain Centre. It will provide a range of health and wellbeing services. Kit Hain-Grindstaff, great-granddaughter of the founder Sir Edward Hain, said: "I just feel so blown away by the commitment of the friends and the people of St Ives, what it means to people and the family story. It is joyful." Read more   The Friends of the Hospital have purchased the hospital and are now setting up the Edward Hain Centre 

Friends of Denbigh Infirmary funding hundreds of thousands to improve services

The Friends of Denbigh Infirmary have recently reopened the side entrance to the hospital after spending hundreds of thousands on improving the service.  To read more download the pdf


Friends of Insch Hospital and Community Advertising for a Community Coordinator

The Friends of Insch Hospital have pubicised that they are recruiting to a new post to play a vital role in addressing gaps in health and social care in the community. 

Fordingbridge Hospital future uncertain as Ford Ward closes admissions

Fordingbridge Hospital failed to reach staffing levels required to keep staff and patients safe and has closed admissions. The future of the ward is now under review.  Read more 


Shropshire protestors push bed 18 miles in effort to save hospital in Bishop's Castle

A group of campaigners in Shropshire have pushed their local mayor through the streets in a double bed in an effort to try and save beds at their local community hospital. Cllr Josh Dicken was pushed 18 miles through local villages after starting at Bishop's Castle Community Hospital this morning. The 16 inpatient beds there closed temporarily in October 2021, but have yet to reopen. A meeting on the 7th September will make a decision about their future. Read more

Celebrating 75 Years of the NHS!

A wonderful achievement, offering health care free at the point of delivery over 75 years. Community hospitals have been a vital part of the NHS, with local accessible community-based services within many rural, remote and coastal areas. We know that the first baby to be born within the NHS was born in a community hospital - Amman Valley Hospital in Wales.  The NHS is fantastic institution that we must make sure continues. Thank you to all involved in the NHS!

Community Support Refurbishment & Re-Equipping of Victoria Hospital, Wimborne
The Friends of Wimborne Hospital and a local benefactor have funded the refurbishment and re- equipping of the hospital X-ray department costing £650,000. This has provided a second room both of which are fully digitalised, with auto-tracking which speeds up the workflow and avoids heavy handling.  They can now accommodate 2 lists of 30-40 patients daily plus MIU and OP referrals. The new equipment can provide for max-fax and dental needs and can also avoid the need for elderly and obese to lie flat on the X-ray table.The more rapid throughput allows urgent referrals  be done on the same or next day and routine imaging in 7 days.  The waiting area, reception, seating and decor were designed to be dementia-friendly after liaison with the Wimborne Dementia Friendly Group.  The department was opened on 16th  May by Harry Rednapp who lives locally on Sandbanks.  The project has been a huge success and welcomed by both staff and patients.


Rye Hospital and Hub on Rye Hill

Trustees of the Rye Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital welcomed a visit from the CHA and the Q Community on 28th June. Barry Nealon (Chair of Rye Hospital) and his team talked about their community-based services for local people at the Hospital site which now includes: Community hospital, Community hub, Extra-care sheltered housing and GP practice. In addition a Care Home is planned to be opened in 2024. You can watch videos about Rye Hospital here :  People Power, Something Right, Our VIP Hospital, The Patient Journey, Centenary History.  Tarnia Mason and her team from the Q Community had an opportunity to talk with those present about the role and potential of these services, and the value to patients families and communities. Also to talk about community hospitals nationally and their role and contribution.  The CHA was represented by Helen Tucker, Richard Hallett, Julia Fairhall and Jo Posnette.  This was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the community of Rye in owning, developing and managing these services.The CHA has a Community Hospitals Special Interest Group in the Q Community, which is a growing network. Thank you to all involved. It is great to further develop our networks. 


Art Making a Difference

Oxford Health Arts Partnership (OHAP) launched their new video this week, showcasing the work they do across Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust services to bring the arts into patient wellbeing and recovery.  Angela Conlan and Paula Har have been developing and promoting this arts programme - which won a national Innovations and Best Practice Award from the CHA.  Do follow the link to learn more and to watch the video, which includes patients and their views.  Read more

£15m redevelopment of Bro Ddyfi community hospital Machynlleth now complete

Construction has completed in the significant redevelopment of Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital in North Wales, creating an integrated health and wellbeing facility on the site of the former Machynlleth Union Workhouse, initially built in 1860. The project has created a multi-disciplinary facility, housing community and primary healthcare, adult mental health treatment, outpatient facilities, and women’s and children’s clinics, all under one roof. Intended to improve the lives of people living in Dyfi Valley for generations to come, construction is now complete, with the first patients coming through the doors last month. Read more 

Staff and supporters mark 100 years of The Dilke Hospital with community celebration.

One hundred years of the the Dilke hospital in Cinderford has been celebrated. The Friends of The Dilke organised a celebration which included music from the Berry Hill Band and the Drybrook and District Ladies’ Choir. The event is the last at the current site of the hospital as the new hospital in Cinderford is due to open in February next year. Read more

New community diagnostic centre set for Thurrock Community Hospital

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT) has been working with partners across the Integrated Care System to put forward a bid for funding for a Community Diagnostic Centre. The centre will offer a range of services including X-ray, ultrasound, CT scans, MRIs, heart and lung checks, blood tests. Read more

Ripon hospital to provide more health checks after £1m award

Ripon Community Hospital has been awarded £1 million to expand the number of health checks and scans.   It means GPs will be able to refer more patients to the hospital for life-saving checks closer to home and be diagnosed for a range of conditions. The NHS England  funding is part of an expansion of community diagnostic services announced by the Government. Ripon Community Hospital will refurbish its X-Ray room and equipment and expand the service to six days a week. The ultrasound room will be extended and its services expanded to six days a week and a second audiology room will be created, with additional staff, to provide more hearing tests in Ripon. The funding will also help to create two clinic rooms to offer more frequent blood samples and local access to tests such as spirometry, ambulatory ECG and ambulatory blood pressure. The hospital on Firby Lane, which is part of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust will have capacity for 27,000 checks a year once services are expanded. Read more 

Public invited to share views on future of Bishop's Castle hospital

Hospital bosses in Shropshire are urging the public to share ideas about the future of a hospital which closed temporarily two years ago. Staff shortages at Bishop's Castle Community Hospital led to its 12-bed unit closing.  Shropshire Community Trust said it still faced recruitment problems and could not reopen safely in the near future. An engagement process has started with stakeholders, the public and staff. Read more

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity prepares to raise £75k for NHS 75

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity is setting out a Challenge 75 campaign for the year, with the aim of raising an additional £75,000 during 2023 to mark the milestone. There are already a whole host of fundraising activities planned, that will go towards raising the target amount. Events such as the NHS 75 Ball, a skydive, and the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge will support the appeal, as well as the charity hosting an NHS Big Tea to officially mark the 75th year. Community hospitals include Grantham and District Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital Boston and County Hospital Louth. Read more

Health Minister praises partnership working at community hospital

The Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan and Deputy Minister for Social Care Julie Morgan have visited South Pembrokeshire Community Hospital in Pembroke Dock to learn more about how partnership working helps patients in Pembrokeshire receive the best care. Eluned Morgan and Julie Morgan, visited the Co-ordination Centre at South Pembrokeshire Hospital to hear more about the ‘Further Faster’ initiative where the Hywel Dda University Health Board, Pembrokeshire Council and third sector work together to co-ordinate and allocate the appropriate care to people across the county. Read more

Haddington: East Lothian Community Hospital hosts vaccination clinics

Vaccinations against a range of conditions will soon be on offer from the East Lothian Community Hospital. The team will reprioritise the roll out of shingles and pneumococcal vaccinations, before commencing on the annual flu programme alongside any announcement on further Covid-19 boosters. Read more

Calls for NHS services to be reinstated as barge set to arrive

Campaigners have renewed calls for NHS services to be reinstated at Portland Community Hospital ahead of the arrival of the asylum seeker barge. A Multi-Agency Forum (MAF) has been established by Dorset Council. It aims to ensure ‘minimal impact’ on local services, communities and businesses, and is overseeing arrangements for the provision of health services, operational arrangements such as transport and waste, and the safety and security of local residents and the asylum seekers. Philip Marfleet from the group said: “The need for proper functioning services on Portland has never been greater. GP surgeries are under enormous pressure and Portland Community Hospital has been stripped of its crucial Minor Injuries Unit and X-ray department. Read more 

Cumbrian Trust nursing vacancies less than half the national average

A health trust in north Cumbria has successfully filled vacancies to its nursing workforce using a combination of ‘ground-breaking’ new approaches. As well as recruiting over 350 internationally educated nurses over the last two years, a ‘grow your own’ scheme has seen North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) appointing hundreds of people locally into the Trust and supporting them to develop and train while they work. As a result, the nursing vacancy rate at the Trust has dropped to 6.4% which is almost half the national average and the lowest it has ever been in North Cumbria. The Trust is now sharing its successes more widely in the NHS as best practice in recruiting to rural healthcare. To date the trust has supported 52 health care assistants through their nursing degree with 23 more expected to complete this year.   Among those qualifying last week were Annabel Simpson who is now a community staff nurse after changing her career from a home carer. She joined Penrith Community Hospital as a health care assistant and applied for her nurse apprenticeship which she has now completed after four years.  Read more here

Livingstone Community Hospital in Dartford to receive government funding for new community diagnostic centre

A hospital is set to be refurbished in a bid to cut NHS waiting times.  Livingstone Community Hospital will see a share of the £2.3 billion investment fund to create a new community diagnostic centre (CDC) for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.  Read more here 

New MRI unit and expansion announced for Ilkeston Community Hospital

A hospital has submitted plans for an extension to its outpatient area and a new MRI unit. The proposal has been put in for Ilkeston Community Hospital, and if approved, would allow the site to boost the range of diagnostic tests it can offer to patients. Read more here 

South Molton Eye Centre official opened

Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust formally opened the South Molton Eye Centre this week.  Patients with eye conditions in Northern Devon and Torridge will now benefit from reduced waiting times and access to state-of-the-art equipment.  The brand new £1.4m facility has been developed at the former renal unit at South Molton Community Hospital. This was made possible with a generous donation of £500,000 from the South Molton Hospital League of Friends.  Read more here 

Record £14 million investment plans proposed for new Community Diagnostic Centre at Withington Community Hospital

Plans for a record £14,200,000 investment in Withington Community Hospital would mean quicker and more convenient access to life-saving tests for patients in West Didsbury and south Manchester who have suspected cancers or cardio-respiratory diseases.  The news has been welcomed by Professor Jane Eddleston, Joint Group Medical Director for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Withington Community Hospital. Read more here

Machynlleth hospital opens to patients after £15 million redevelopment 

Patients are now being admitted to Machynlleth’s Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital following a £15 million redevelopment.  At the end of April local GP practice Dyfi Valley Health moved across the road into the new hospital building and they are now operating from their new home.  Hayley Thomas, is Interim Chief Executive of Powys Teaching Health Board: “We are truly grateful to Welsh Government for providing us with the funding to develop Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital in a way that will deliver better access to doctors, nurses, dentists and other health professionals in modern state of the art facilities.” Read more here

Dartmouth and Kingswear Community Hospital goes up for sale on the open market

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust are putting the site of the former Dartmouth and Kingswear Community Hospital for sale on the open market. While the community bid to buy and redevelop may still be viable, it has been affected by significant delays in raising the requisite finance, which has not been achieved within the agreed timelines. Read more here

Police identify 19 suspects in Gosport hospital opioid deaths inquiry

Investigation into premature deaths of more than 450 people at community hospital will be ‘decisive’, say Kent and Essex police  Police investigating the deaths of hundreds of patients at a community hospital say they have identified 19 suspects. An independent police investigation was launched into Gosport War Memorial hospital, in Hampshire, after inquiries found that  hundreds of patients had their lives shortened through the use of opioids.  Deputy assistant commissioner Neil Jerome said: “The independent investigation into deaths at Gosport War Memorial hospital is one of the largest and most complex of its nature in the history of UK policing." Read more here 

Plans approved to replace Shotley Bridge hospital with community facility in County Durham

A community hospital in County Durham has been granted planning permission. The proposals are for a new facility in Consett and would replace the current Shotley Bridge Community Hospital. Durham County Council's planning committee gave the go-ahead on the new multi-million pound proposal for Derwent View - part of the former steel works site. Read more here

New approach to Development of Health and Care Services across Falkirk

A series of projects will be aligned in a new long-term planning approach for health and care services across Falkirk and wider Forth Valley area. A review of the way community-based services are delivered has already been conducted as part of a wider master planning exercise for the Falkirk Community Hospital site. This Strategic Assessment looked at the range of services currently provided, including ophthalmology, speech and language therapy, sexual health, dental services, psychology, audiology, podiatry, mental health support and inpatient facilities, as well as exploring future healthcare needs across the area. Read more here

Health committee to be asked to back ‘one-stop-shop’ new Mansfield diagnostics centre

Councillors on a county council committee will be asked to support plans for a state-of-the-art new NHS diagnostics centre in Mansfield. The major new project, led by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust (SFH), was awarded Government funding last month. SFH says the facility, which would be built alongside the existing Stockwell Gate community hospital, could welcome its first patients in autumn 2024. Read more here

National CHA Award for Launceston Hospital

Anna Mitchell and team received their CHA Innovations and Best Practice award for their pioneering scheme - creating a Meaningful Activities Coordinator to support patient in hospital. The impact on the wellbeing of patients has been very positive so the scheme has been extended.  Dr David Seamark, Vice President of the CHA, and Sue Greenwood, CHA Committee member gave this special Presidents Award in recognition of the significant achievements of the team.  

Bicester Community Hospital Nutrition & Hydration Week

The staff at Bicester Hospital shared their news:  Last week 13-17th March we celebrated nutrition and hydration week in Bicester Community Hospital.  On Monday we celebrated Milkshake Monday with a variety of flavours including strawberry, chocolate and banana for staff and patients. Tasty Tuesday was used to highlight nutrition with a variety of foods including various flavoured quiches which went down a real treat with patients – only 1 slice was for left for staff.  Staff bought in a variety of food including homemade rice, onion bhajis and vegetable samosas, thank you to all staff for embracing this, especially Taz.  Wednesday was cupcakes/cakes and tea, again the cakes disappeared quite quickly and patient feedback was positive ‘loved the cupcakes available’.  Staff bought and made lots of cakes for the staff to share, Sally’s fridge cake quickly disappeared.  Thirsty Mocktail Thursday followed with a variety of mocktails including Sunrise mocktail and mojito mocktail – these were a refreshing change for patients and staff alike.  Photos attached are from finger good Friday which included a variety of fruit along with cheese and pineapple sticks and pork pie.  It was a really enjoyable week for patients and staff that was used to highlight the importance of nutrition and hydration. Colleagues and patients in Wallingford Community Hospital also had lots of fun during the week highlighting the importance of nutrition and hydration, with a special Mocktail menu.  Images below are from Wallingford and Bicester Hospitals.  Download poster here



New Bench for Rothbury Hospital

The wonderfully talented and skilful Michael Boxall, agreed to make a bench to commemorate the Save Rothbury Community Hospital Campaign, and, in particular, two of its members who died during the campaign to save the NHS beds. The bench was created from an oak tree that had been felled by Storm Arwen, and was kindly gifted by the owner.The Save Rothbury Community Hospital Campaign Team is so proud and happy to present this wonderful bench. It will provide the perfect place to sit and enjoy the view over Rothbury and Coquetdale. Read more here


Teignmouth Community Hospital 'Government needs to rethink hospital closure' vote councillors 

Councillors were today applauded as they unanimously backed calls to reopen Teignmouth Hospital - rather than close it and replace it with a smaller GP-led health centre.  Campaigners demonstrated in a show of solidarity ahead of this morning's Teignbridge Council meeting.   "Across Devon, Community Hospitals such as Teignmouth have played a vital role in healthcare, providing of range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare close to the community.  Pressures on the acute hospitals, such as Torbay, are immense and made worse by the lack of beds in the community to which patients could be discharged by Torbay."  The motion also called for the council 'to consider undertaking a review of the closure of cottage hospitals in the district'.   Read more here     Thanks to Geralyn Arthurs and her team for sending this to the CHA.


Holywell Good Companions Fundraisers Re- Open Tea Bar 

The Good Companions Tea Bar has reopened at Holywell Community Hospital after being closed for nearly three years. John Saunders, Chairman of the Good Companions fundraising group, said: “We are excited to have the tea bar open again. Staff, patients and visitors are very happy to see us open and to see us fundraising for the hospital.”  Read more


Questions on Community Hospitals by Julian Lewis MP New Forest East for a Written Answer

Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: Community Hospitals 

Julian Lewis MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many inpatient beds there were in NHS community hospitals in England in (a) 1997, (b) 2010 and (c) 2022; and if he will make an assessment of trends in inpatient capacity in those hospitals between those dates. (30 Jan 2023)

Julian Lewis MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential role of inpatient beds in community hospitals as step-down beds to release capacity in general hospitals; and how many inpatient beds there are in community hospitals in England. (26 Jan 2023)


Bring back cottage hospitals to free capacity in NHS, says senior health leader

Professor Dame Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of GPs, has said that a new generation of cottage hospitals could offer better treatment to elderly people living with long-term health issues.  The article describes Cottage hospitals as a small type of hospital first developed in the UK in the mid-1800s providing outpatient and day-patient care, with patients with minor illnesses able to recover in a bed near their homes and family.  Read the article here  and read the response from Dr Kirsty Protherough of the CHA here

Encouraging Staff to Identify their Superpowers in Didcot Community Hospital, Oxford 
artist-in-residence Tom Cross who was commissioned to capture, through art, the stories of patients and staff over three months. The project was completed last week. This was all made possible thanks, in part, to the wonderful fundraising efforts of the 1 Regt RLC, Fijian Community and for Oxford Health Charity and facilitated by Oxford Health Arts Partnership.
Read more here

Funding Awarded for Arts Project - What Makes Didcot Community Hospital Brilliant

Angela Conlan from ⁦‪@OxfordHealthNHS⁩ told That's TV about the Didcot Art Project, that that aims to celebrate what makes Didcot brilliant. National Lottery Funding is enabling theme to celebrate what makes Didcot Community Hospital brilliant, and to retain their artist in residence.            Watch the excerpt on twitter here:      Read Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust Press Release here


COVID-19 Outbreak shuts Leominster Hospital

Visiting has been cancelled and new admissions stopped after a Covid outbreak at a hospital in Herefordshire. Wye Valley NHS Trust, the group behind Herefordshire's hospitals, said Leominster Community Hospital had suffered an outbreak of Covid.  At Thursday's trust board meeting, bosses said there had been three different outbreaks across its hospitals since August.  Read more


Whistleblowers concerns at Ross-on-Wye Community Hospital

Whistleblowers have raised concerns at a Herefordshire hospital where patients' belongings keep going missing.  Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs hospitals across Herefordshire, said health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission had received three complaints about Ross Community Hospital. The complaints, raised at the trust's board meeting on Thursday (October 6), have been raised anonymously by staff.  Read more


Patient 'over the moon' as beloved dog pays her a surprise visit in Falmouth Hospital

A patient at Falmouth Community Hospital had a heart-warming reunion with her beloved dog who visited her on the ward. Janet Van De Voorde was admitted into the community hospital after a fall. Due to her lengthy stay, she had to give her 13-year-old dog Charlie away. He first stayed at Rosevean Vets in Penzance for a month but was then put into the care of the Last Chance Hotel and found his foster mum, Ann Tew.  Read more


Fears over 'major threats' to future of Shropshire's community hospitals

Concerns have been raised over the future of community hospitals in Shropshire with urgent communication needed. The issue was addressed at a meeting of Shropshire Council’s scrutiny committee.  It comes after an announcement was made in October that the former maternity unit in Ludlow had been sold, subject to contract. Now, fears have been raised over rural community hospitals and the impact that closure would have on access to healthcare services county-wide.  Read more


Ellen Badger Community Hospital Demolition

The sight of the Ellen Badger Hospital being demolished in Shipston has galvanised people to march in protest over the lack of a replacement.  The League of Friends handed over £635,000 towards the cost of rebuilding the town’s community hospital in 2018, but since then South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust has stalled on the promise of building a replacement hospital, and still says it is contingent on the long-awaited results of a bed review.  Read more 


Community hospital reopens injuries unit to ease pressure on Poole and Bournemouth

A MINOR injuries unit is to reopen at a Dorset hospital in the latest phase of reviewing urgent care provision across the county.Dorset HealthCare has re-opened the Blandford Hospital Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) for two days a week.   Additionally, to help relieve pressure on emergency departments in Poole and Bournemouth, extended opening hours at the Victoria Hospital MIU in Wimborne will be maintained.  Read  more 


Concerns after new figures show some north-east minor injury units aren’t being used compared to others

Concerns have been raised after it emerged some local minor injuries units in Aberdeenshire aren’t being used compared to others.  Scottish Conservative research has highlighted just three local hospitals have been dealing with the majority of routine primary care across the region since Covid - Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Huntly.   New figures from NHS Grampian show 5685 appointments were carried out at Peterhead Community Hospital, 5311 at Fraserburgh Hospital and 3350 at the Jubilee Hospital in Huntly this year.  Read  more 


Leaders call for Bishops Castle community hospital to re-open to ease pressure on the NHS

Leaders in south west Shropshire are calling for a community hospital to be re-opened to held ease bed pressures in the NHS. Liberal Democrat Councillors, Heather Kidd, Nigel Hartin and Ruth Houghton from south west Shropshire think that government funding should be used to pay more for nurses at Bishop's Castle to attract staff to open it as a diagnostic centre.  This, they say, would alleviate pressures in Shrewsbury and Telford, save a lot of travel time for local residents and the 12 beds would release beds at the acute hospitals.  Read more


Community hospital closures contributing to NHS crisis, says Plaid Cymru MS

A Plaid Cymru MS (Member of the Senedd) has taken aim at the Welsh Government for axing community hospitals in North Wales.  Llyr Gruffydd, who represents the region in the Senedd, told Health Minister Eluned Morgan that the controversial closure of a network of community hospitals is “contributing” to the acute crisis in the NHS.  Read  more


Plans for new community diagnostics centre at Nottinghamshire hospital

 Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has submitted plans to Mansfield District Council for a purpose-built ‘Community Diagnostics Centre’ that will run alongside its existing Mansfield Community Hospital in Stockwell Gate, Mansfield.  If approved, the Centre will house a ‘one-stop shop’ for patients to access the tests and investigations they need in a single visit, helping them to give them an answer to their concerns – including with an ‘all clear’ or diagnosis – sooner. Read more


Sheppey Community Hospital to Open Mothballed Ward

A mothballed 24-bed ward at Sheppey Community Hospital is poised to get a new lease of life in a long-overdue health shake-up for the Island. Medway NHS Foundation Trust is to take over the space to create a "frailty ward" Last month the Department for Health and Social Care gave the green light to create a CDC hub at the Sheppey hospital. Work is to begin in the spring with new services including CT scans, MRIs and ECGs.   Read more

"Nourishing Norfolk" network supermarket at Wells Community Hospital

The Coastal Health and Wellbeing Community Supermarket van is offering food up to 30pc cheaper than regular stores, in a bid to help those finding it hard to make ends meet.  It can found every Wednesday afternoon at The Hive Café at Wells Community Hospital, and also offers a mobile service.  Read more

Health Board Reintroduce Mandatory Facemasks After Respiratory Infections Rise

From Monday, 14 November, it is mandatory for all visitors, patients and staff, unless exempt, to wear facemasks provided in all healthcare settings including all community hospitals across north Wales, including outpatients appointments Read more 

Launceston, Helston and Stratton Community Hospitals recognised for their End of Life Care

A national organisation has recognised the end-of-life care provided at three community hospitals in Launceston, Helston and Stratton. The Gold Standard Framework helps frontline staff put national end-of-life policies into practice. They help staff deliver national standards to help people to die well. The community hospitals in Launceston, Helston and Stratton all provide gold-standard care. Run by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, each has achieved the highest standards and having maintained these for three years has enabled them to be awarded platinum status.  Read more 

Paulton Hospital celebrates 150th anniversary with generous gift

Patients and staff at Paulton Hospital Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) have a double cause for celebration after the Paulton Hospital League of Friends group donated £115,000 to fund a new X-ray facility at the same time as the hospital celebrates its 150th anniversary.  The donation made by the League of Friends includes a substantial legacy.   Read more

March for Ellen Badger Hospital Redevelopment

Around 450 people joined the demonstration organised by the League of Friends of Shipston Hospital.  The league handed over £635,000 towards the cost of rebuilding the town’s community hospital in 2018, but the redevelopment has been held up because of a bed review. A wellbeing hub is proposed (without beds).  

Dr Manuela Perteghella, LibDem spokesperson and district councillor said: "We are a mainly rural district with an older demographic, therefore the provision of a comprehensive healthcare facility including rehabilitative and palliative care close to home is not only essential but should be a model for a national health strategy. It's shocking that the beds review is still ongoing, adding to the concerns about the provision of beds for the Badger.

World class care home set to be built in Flint

Flint Town Councillors have welcomed the initial proposals for the redevelopment of the Cottage Hospital site.   Cllr Michelle Perfect, Mayor of Flint, said: “We all miss the old Cottage Hospital. The memories that it holds remain strong for all of us and it’s only right that we harness that passion to build a new start for our town. Croes Atti 2 will see Flint leading the way in our county with world-class social care and a step-up, step-down home for those entering and leaving hospital.  Read more 

Wonderful five-star reviews for the Oxfordshire Stroke Rehabilitation Unit at Abingdon Community Hospital

The Oxfordshire Stroke Rehabilitation Unit is a 20-bed inpatient unit that provides a short period of inpatient rehabilitation for people who have had a stroke.   All patients and service users who receive care and support from Oxford Health are encouraged to provide reviews on the independent "I want great care" website.  “The nursing staff are particularly fabulous and the physiotherapists give 110% effort, very impressed.”  Read more

Concerns have been raised over the future of community hospitals in Shropshire

Fears have been raised over rural community hospitals and the impact that closure would have on access to healthcare services county-wide.  The issue was addressed at a meeting of Shropshire Council’s scrutiny committee with regard to Ludlow community hospital.   Read more 

Kelso hospital re-opens to admissions

NHS Borders has announced that Kelso Community Hospital has re-opened to admissions following a Covid-19 outbreak.  Read more

Final Go Ahead Given on Newmarket Diagnostic Centre

The health secretary has revealed that Newmarket is among 10 places in England to receive government backing for new community diagnostic centres.As part of a £15million project, residents will have access to new MRI and CT scanners, upgraded X-ray and ultrasound suites and additional cardiology, lung function and phlebotomy services. The Community Diagnostic Centre will be based next to Newmarket hospital. NHS Suffolk and North East Essex chief executive Ed Garratt said: "It's fantastic that the funding for a community diagnostic centre at Newmarket has today been approved. Read more


MP Opens Penrith hospital's renovated £1.2 million ward 

PENRITH Hospital’s newly renovated £1.2 million inpatient ward has been opened by Penrith and the Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson. The now fully operational ward has 23 beds with much more privacy and space than before. Ashley Macaulay, Ward Manager on the Eden Unit at Penrith Hospital, said ‘’We are all very excited to be back working together. It means patients can be cared for closer to home and that’s what the people of Penrith and the Eden Valley really need.’’ Dr Hudson also passed on his ‘special thanks’ to the Penrith Community Hospital League of Friends, who have raised extra money for the ward.  Read more


Community hospital ward shuts amid staffing issues

A hospital ward has been forced to close temporarily due to staffing issues. The Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) confirmed it reached the "very difficult decision" to close the ward at Aboyne Community Hospital.  The ward closure will allow staff to be sent to other hospitals as three in-patient wards in Deeside experience staffing issues. Read more


Leominster Community Hospital and Ross-on-Wye Community Hospital wards closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks

Visiting arrangements at hospitals across Herefordshire have changed a lot over recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions returning to a small number of wards in Herefordshire this week following new outbreaks of COVID-19. The updated visiting arrangements at the Trust’s hospitals are set out and include the closure of wards in Leominster and Ross-on-Wye.  Read more


New Stroke Unit to be based at Llandudno Hospital

Llandudno Hospital will benefit from a new multi-million-pound stroke unit.  Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says the unit will be one of three in the north of Wales. It will help with the rehabilitation of people who have suffered a stroke but no longer need acute care. Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders visited Llandudno Hospital last week and says she has campaigned for more investment in the hospital. “Llandudno Hospital belongs to the community. There is a lot of affection locally for Llandudno Hospital. Whenever I speak to people from all over North Wales, they absolutely love coming to Llandudno Hospital.”  Read more


St Ives community group set to buy back the town’s Edward Hain Hospital for £1million.

A community group says it has secured a deal with the NHS to buy back St Ives' old hospital. The Edward Hain hospital shut in 2016 after NHS Kernow said it was no longer fit for purpose. Now the Friends of Edward Hain have agreed to pay £1million to turn the building into a health and wellbeing centre. Now the building's future, group says there are a range of possible services being considered including physiotherapy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, a dental practice and mental health support.  Read more


Hugh Bonneville ‘opens’ Petersfield Urgent Treatment Centre on its first anniversary

Hugh Bonneville, known for his roles in Downton Abbey and the Paddington films, said: “Since opening last year it has provided a vital service.  “Congratulations to everyone involved on their continued commitment and dedication to the UTC which, in turn, helps alleviate the pressure on the emergency services in the area.” In its first year, the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) has grown from 30 patients a day to an average 80 patients a day presenting a variety of illness and injuries. Read more 


Get Fast, convenient health tests at Clactons Community Diagnostic Centre

People living in north Essex can now get fast access to health tests such as CT scans, x-rays and ultrasounds at a time convenient to them at Clacton’s brand new Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC). The centre has been created in space at Clacton Community Hospital, which has been given a £9.6 million facelift.  The next phase of the project is due to begin in November and will see a further £14.2m invested. A permanent MRI suite will be created to replace the mobile unit which is currently in the car park, along with additional ultrasound capacity, two more x-ray suites and space for future urology and endoscopy services. The whole project has been made possible by a partnership of ESNEFT, GP Primary Choice Ltd, Community Voluntary Service Tendring, Tendring District Council and Essex County Council and will be complete by 2024. Read more


Doubts raised over plan to bring maternity services back to Lichfield hospital

Maternity services may not return to a Lichfield hospital before the end of the year as planned, councillors had been told. The midwife-led facility at the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital was taken out of action during the Covid pandemic. Read more


Welsh Government Urged to Take action to Progress the Rhyl Hospital Development

THE Vale of Clwyd MP, James Davies, has made an impassioned plea for Welsh Government to prioritise the proposed redevelopment of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl.   “The development of the Royal Alexandra site would provide a much-needed minor injuries unit, alleviating some of the pressure on the Emergency Department at the district general hospital, as well as on other departments. Furthermore, it would provide community beds which would help facilitate more timely discharges from Glan Clwyd.”  Read more

Insching towards another 100 years

The community reveals £900,000 plans to save Insch hospital, which has been mothballed since the start of the pandemic. The community has drawn up plans for a modular extension to the hospital which would accommodate 12 beds.   There have been celebrations for the Insch Hospital centenary, with strong community support.   Read more

Work underway on Forest hospital

THE start of work on the new Forest hospital was marked with a traditional ‘ground breaking’ ceremony. The two-storey hospital will house a 24-bed in-patient unit alongside provision for dental, X-ray, physiotherapy and endoscopy services, among others. It will replace the Dilke and Lydney Hospitals. Read more

Community Hospitals Surgical Units Contributing to COVID-19 backlog

There is an  investment in surgical hubs to help manage the backlog from the pandemic. Hospitals already part of this scheme include Ilkeston Community Hospital, Alnwick Infirmary, Edgware Community Hospital, West Berkshire Community Hospital, Andover War Memorial Hospital and Braintree Community Hospital. Read more

Friends’ generosity helps Crowborough Hospital Birthing Centre celebrate 25 years

Midwives and staff from Crowborough Birthing Centre were joined by the Friends of Crowborough Hospital, local MP Nusrat Ghani and new parents and their babies at a celebration this week.

The event marked 25 years of midwifery-led care in Crowborough, the out-of-hospital birthing services which were paused during the pandemic and began again in the spring, and the official opening of the new parent and staff kitchen and rest room generously funded by the Friends. Richard Hallett MBE, Vice President and Trustee of Crowborough Hospital League of Friends said: “Our task as the Friends is to represent the community and it’s the community that give donations to help our funding. We look for practical ways in which we can support the Birthing Centre and staff and Crowborough Hospital and we were delighted to be able to help with the communal kitchen and staff rest room.”   Read more

Finchley Memorial Hospital Community Diagnostic Centre celebrates 50,000 patient milestone

The Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) at Finchley Memorial Hospital celebrated its first birthday this month, having helped over 50,000 NHS patients across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington get quicker access to diagnostic scans and tests since opening in 2021. Read more

Critical incident declared at Shropshire health and care system due to rising Covid pressures

The health and care system in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin has declared a critical incident because of 'continued and unprecedented pressure on its services.' The Trust is urging people to help by going to Minor Injury Units if your injury is not serious, rather than going to an A&E department - there are 4 MIUs in the county, located at Bridgnorth Community Hospital, Ludlow Community Hospital, Oswestry Health Centre and Whitchurch Community Hospital. Read more

Malvern Community Hospital plans for 148 solar panels

A spokesperson for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "We are committed to creating and embedding sustainable models of care and ensuring our operations and our estate are as efficient, sustainable and resilient as they can be. Read more

£1.2m renovation at Penrith Hospital opens

The newly renovated inpatient ward at Penrith Hospital opens to patients Monday 8 August after a £1.2 million upgrade.The ward has 23 beds all in a bright and welcoming environment with more space and privacy than before. On Friday 5 August, an open day event was held for stakeholders and colleagues to get a preview of the completed works and to officially open the unit. Read more

Hawkhurst Community Hospital first to grow fruit and vegetables for patient meals

A chef says she's delighted the hospital she works at is one of the first in the county to grow their own produce for patient meals. Sarah Pambour, head chef at Hawkhurst Community Hospital, has been waiting 30 years for a food garden to be launched. "The idea was put to me in April 2021 to trial a community garden. I jumped at the chance and it snowballed from there." Read more

Falkirk health: Community hospital plan gets NHS board approval

A masterplan to improve health services at Falkirk Community Hospital over the next five years came another step closer this week when it was approved by NHS Forth Valley’s board.  Read more

Berwick MP visits pioneering new Rothbury Community Hospital care ward

A pioneering new model of community care on its way to Rothbury has been praised by the local MP. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick recently went to see how works at Rothbury Community Hospital’s new facility are progressing.  Ms Trevelyan said: “I am so proud that Northumbria NHS Trust is pioneering this innovative model and creating this ward which can be used for palliative support, respite care as well as social care with the excellent district nurse team here at Rothbury on hand to ensure patients can be treated locally if that is their preference. Read more

 Hydrotherapy pool opens at Dene Barton Community Hospital

A hydrotherapy pool officially opened at Dene Barton Community Hospital, in Cotford St Luke, will help NHS patients self-manage certain conditions and offer more independence.  It opened to patients last August, but the unveiling ceremony was delayed due to Covid restrictions.  Physiotherapy outpatients team leader Helen Williams said the hydro pool is an important part of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s physiotherapy department and allows patients to receive specialised treatment locally rather than travelling to Bristol or Exeter.  Read more

New ward opened at Alton Community Hospital

A new ward with 22 beds has been opened on the first floor of Alton Community Hospital. Known as Inwood Ward, it increases the number of beds at Alton to 40. There were already 18 on Anstey Ward. Inwood Ward will provide more rehabilitation and recovery care for inpatients and improve care for patients nearing the end of their lives.  Read more

Community hospital in Scottish Borders closed to admissions due to Covid-19 outbreak 9th June 2022

A community hospital in the Scottish Borders is closed to admissions due to a Covid-19 outbreak. All but essential visiting is currently suspended at the Knoll Community Hospital in Duns. NHS Borders say the situation is being kept under regular review and restrictions will be eased as soon as it is safe to do so.  Read more

Falkirk Community Hospital replacement plans to boost local health services

The outline proposals suggest that a Livingwell hub will be central to the new services. Potentially, this could have a community cafe run as a social enterprise to address social isolation and provide a gateway to other support. Other proposed services will be phlebotomy and volunteer and carer support, to help connect people with support in their own community. The new facilities will also be an opportunity to introduce innovative digital technologies to monitor things such as blood pressure and weight.  Read more

New community care and treatment service launched to aid patients in local venues across Perth and Kinross

CCATS provides a range of care and minor injury services, is now based at seven hubs in the region. The hubs are located at Dalweem Care Home in Aberfeldy, St Margaret’s Community Hospital in Auchterarder, Blairgowrie Community Hospital, Bridge of Earn Hub, Crieff Community Hospital, Beechgrove House in Perth, and Pitlochry Community Hospital.  Read more

Artists in Residence (AiR)

Oxfordshire film-maker Emma Spellman has helped us to create a beautiful film, which highlights some of the amazing work of our artists and brings to the screen the impact art has on personal health and wellbeing. Oxford Health Charity has been delighted to support the development of the AiR project over the past year, a new strand of work that has been delivered by Oxford Health Arts Partnership to place professional artists on community hospital wards alongside clinical staff. This project was funded through Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Charities Together with local council and League of Friends support for specific elements.  Read more 

Broadford Hospital officially opened by Cabinet Secretary 

Broadford Hospital/Ospadal an Àth Leathainn  on Skye was officially opened today by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf. The hospital, which is one of two new NHS Highland community hospitals in a £40 million project, opened to patients earlier this year.  Pam Dudek, NHS Highland’s Chief Executive, said: “The new hospital has been open to patients since March and is already playing its part in delivering high-quality person centred health and social care to people in Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross.  Read more

Welsh Government urged to prioritise North Denbighshire community hospital development

 THE MP for Vale of Clwyd, James Davies has written to the Welsh health minister criticising the eight-year lack of progress on the development of the North Denbighshire Community Hospital. Dr Davies has called for the Welsh Government to “reach a positive decision on the Full Business Case as a matter of urgency”. He has supported the plans for the new hospital on the site of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl since they were first mooted and, in recent years, has applied pressure to move the development forward.  Read more

Friends of Insch Hospital devastated by Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board decision

Friends of Insch Hospital are reeling from the decision from the Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board (IJB) which completely ignored their strategic vision for the 100 year old hospital. The group's strategic vision included local beds at the hospital as part of a comprehensive set of local services. But instead the IJB agreed to develop a wellbeing hub with community meeting and clinical space while a business case for capital investment is developed.   Chris Humphries, a member of the Community Hospitals Association who has supported Friends said: "We drew up a plan that would support the development of services for people both at home, and in local settings including beds, together with an approach that focuses on health and well-being and prevention."  Read more

Refurbishment of the Kitwood Unit at Herts and Essex Community Hospital

Money generated by conditions attached to planning permission for new homes in Bishop's Stortford is being ploughed into improving patients' care in the town.  The £90,000 secured by East Herts Council (EHC) will help pay for refurbishment of the Kitwood Unit at Herts and Essex Community Hospital in Haymeads Lane.  Read more

Health bosses promise not to close Somerset MIUs

Somerset’s minor injuries units (MIUs) will not be replaced by the new GP community pharmacy service, health bosses have promised. Somerset has seven MIUs, operated by the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which provide a range of urgent treatments for patients who cannot secure a GP’s appointment and in doing so relieve pressure on the county’s A&E departments.   The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recently launched the Somerset GP community pharmacy consultation service (also known as Think Pharmacy), which is designed to quickly treat more than 40 minor conditions and injuries.   Health bosses have now sought to assure the public that this new service will not lead to any of Somerset’s MIUs being closed down or replaced. Somerset’s seven MIUs are located in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Minehead and Shepton Mallet, with each facility being open between 8am and 9pm.  Read more

Evesham Community Hospital

Dr Kirsty Prothorough, one of our CHA committee members, has tweeted about one of the GP Trainees presenting the "Deprescribing audit" at Evesham Community Hospital.   The concluding outcome was that deprescribing as well as prescribing requires shared decision making with patients and families as well as greater communication with the GP.

Teignmouth Community Hospital, Devon

Teignmouth hospital looks set to close after an independent review found the NHS consulted "adequately" with councillors about its plan. In March last year, Devon County Council's health and scrutiny committee referred the proposals to Health Secretary Sajid Javid who agreed the plans to close Teignmouth hospital should be reviewed by a panel of independent experts – the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. The panel ruled the CCG’s consultation with the committee was “adequate”, paving the way for the closure to go ahead. The CHA has been providing evidence to the local community group, and helping them to have a say in the future of their local healthcare.  Read more 

The Vale Community Hospital Dursley

Community campaigners welcome the return of community beds to the hospital. All beds had been previously allocated as stroke beds, but there is now a return to a proportion of community beds.  Read more 

Ellen Badger Hospital Site – New Development

The first phase of a project to redevelop the Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston has been given planning permission for a new Medical and Wellbeing Centre.  Read more

Parking to remain free for NHS staff at Mansfield Community hospital

 Staff at hospitals across Nottinghamshire will not have to pay for parking - despite the charge being reintroduced across the country.  Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced the end of the benefit from Friday, April 1. Sherwood Forest Hospitals (SFH), the trust responsible for King's Mill Hospital, Mansfield Community Hospital and Newark Hospital, has said parking would remain free, and also added that this was being reviewed.    Read more  

The Patient Voice - Recent Publication

We value the patient voice, and we would welcome any contributions from patients or carers about their experiences of NHS health care in community hospitals. We would welcome a blog, a letter, or a news item.   Do please contact us. 

Our President, Helen Tucker, has just written about her positive experience of  integrated health care when she received treatment for cancer.  Helen has said that the article was by way of recognising good care and thanking all involved.Read more

Community Hospitals Promoted in House of Commons

Dr Andrew Murrison MP presented a bill on Healthcare (Delayed Discharges).   Dr Murrison has suggested eight measures that may help to reduce delayed discharges, with requirements such certifying patients as fit for discharge, setting timescales for action, requiring resource exchanges between health and social care, and increasing regulatory systems. 

Dr Murrison describes the experience of a family member who was in an acute hospital, and speaks of the care:   “I have seen much better, notably in community hospitals and intermediate care—settings that have, foolishly in my view, been deprioritised under successive Governments.”   Dr Murrison makes the point that the cost of an acute bed is much higher than community hospital beds and other community-based options.

The CHA provided a briefing paper to Dr Murrison on his request - read the paper here

Read more   Hansard Volume 710: debated on Wednesday 16 March 2022, to be read a second time on May 6th.


Proposals to Re-Open Insch Community Hospital

Friends of Insch Hospital have committed to work with the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership to secure the reopening of the hospital after it closed in March 2020. Chris Humphris, Chair of the CHA, has been working with the community, and has helped them to create their Strategic Vision document. Allyson Grant, Chair of the Friends, has said that they are committed to working with AHSCP. We are doing everything we can to develop a vision for sustainable services, driven by the community. 


Crowborough MIU to Re-Open

Great news to hear about the re-opening of the MIU.  The minor injuries unit (MIU) at Crowborough War Memorial Hospital will reopen on Monday 14th February. The unit, run by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, has been temporarily closed since August 2021  Richard Hallett, from the Friends of Crowborough Hospital has said: "The Friends of Crowborough Hospital have been talking to, and working with, Sussex Community Trust, behind the scenes about reopening the Crowborough MIU, and we are absolutely delighted that this much valued and locally important 'urgent treatment service' will soon be restored for the local community."  Read more 

Rye Hospital set to be Carbon Neutral in 2022

By the summer 2022 Rye Hospital will be the first carbon neutral community hospital in the UK.  Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital aims to reduce its carbon footprint by as much as 98% which is expected to save a significant 87.2 carbon tonnes per year through the removal of gas. This will be through changes such as the installation of solar panels, LED lighting throughout and air source heating.  This is an amazing achievement and a shining example of what can be achieved with careful planning, commitment, purpose and team work.  Read more

Good News on the Rothbury Community Hospital 

After a long campaign, there is now good news for people living in and around the Rothbury area with regard to their community hospital.  Northumbria Healthcare Trust is developing a new flexible care service for patients in Rothbury that will see community treatment, NHS beds and much needed residential care for people in the area. The Trust has created a new strategic partnership with a third-party care provider People First Care which will allow the NHS to deliver a flexible number of beds to meet the needs of patients in Rothbury, while continuing to provide extra support for people's health and care needs in their own home. Under the plans People First Care will operate a 12-15 bed unit for people needing respite care, rehabilitation services, longer term recuperation or end of life care. This facility will be supported by a wider team of district nurses, GPs and nurse practitioners.

Buckinghamshire patients to be sent to former hotel from hospital

Hospital patients who are ready to be discharged but still need support are to be sent to a former hotel to free up space. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said the temporary care facility would open to patients on Monday where "further support" would be given, it said.  The trust runs two NHS acute hospitals, Stoke Mandeville and Wycombe, and five community hospitals in Amersham, Buckingham, Chalfont St Peter, Marlow and Thame. Community intermediate care beds have been closed in 3 of the community hospitals.  Read more 

Wantage Hospital refurbishment brings services and clinics closer to the community

Staff at Wantage Community Hospital are celebrating after receiving a string of five-star independent reviews from patients. The hospital, which launched a range of new services and clinics three months ago in newly refurbished rooms at the site, is at the centre of the community and is convenient for people who may otherwise have to travel further afield. One patient said: "It is fantastic for local people." Services currently provided at Wantage Community Hospital include children's physiotherapy clinics and assessments, Ophthalmology clinics, a Midwife Led Unit, Perinatal, Adult Eating Disorders, Talking Space, Psychological Therapies, Neuro Development Clinic, Podiatry Clinic, Health Share Physiotherapy Clinic, Speech and Language Therapies.  Read more

Guisborough Community hospital could re-open its doors in February

Work recommenced in December 2020 with the Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, which is overseeing the plans, describing how "excellent progress" has been made since. Craig Blair, its director of commissioning, said: "The redevelopment of Guisborough Hospital has been undertaken to expand the range of services available to those in the local area. Working with a number of providers, a broad range of services including planned diagnostics, community mental health and dental services will be available, all from one location.  Read more

Moving frail elderly patients could leave them isolated

Moving frail elderly patients and stroke victims away from south Essex Hospitals and to specialised units across the county could leave them isolated and vulnerable, councillors fear. The Mid and South Essex Hospital Trust gave Southend Council's people scrutiny committee an update on a proposed reconfiguration of community beds on Tuesday, ahead of the launch of a public consultation. Across Essex 115 community beds cater for people who have been discharged from hospital but are still not well enough to go home. Over the last 18 months, units in Billericay, Brentwood, Halstead, Maldon, Rochford and Thurrock have cared for an average of 200 people per month. The consultation will look at whether specialist units should be created to cater for specific needs such as stroke rehabilitation.  Read more

Consultation on the Future of Lakeland Unit

Since 2008, the 28 community beds on the Langdale Unit at Westmorland General Hospital have been mainly used for older people who needed this kind of nurse-led treatment, perhaps after a fall, when recovering after surgery, or at the end of their lives. However, feedback from healthcare professionals, patients and evidence from organisations like the British Geriatric Society is that hospital isn't always the right place for people to recover and regain their independence. The CCG is therefore proposing to reinvest the £3 million per year cost of running the Langdale Unit into recruiting 36 additional nurses, physios and occupational therapists in the community. The proposals would include commissioning care homes and some community accommodation for people if home isn't the right place for them  Read more 

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf meets campaigners over reopening Edington Cottage Hospital

Campaigners fighting for the reopening of the Edington Cottage Hospital have had a meeting with Scotland's Health Secretary. Staff at the North Berwick hospital were moved to East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington in September, resulting in the Edington's temporary closure. Health chiefs said the move was to consolidate staffing as it predicted a difficult winter due to Covid-19; they said the decision would be reviewed every three months. Since then, campaigners have called for confirmation on when the Edington could reopen and, in recent days, have had meetings with Humza Yousaf MSP and representatives from NHS Lothian and East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP).  Read more 

Kate Middleton and Prince William Visit Clitheroe Community Hospital

Kate Middleton and Prince William are championing the mental health of healthcare workers.

The royal couple travelled to rural Lancashire in the northwest of England on Thursday to check in on health staff members who have faced unique challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. William and Kate met with doctors, nurses and other health workers at Clitheroe Community Hospital. The couple was particularly interested to hear how NHS Charities Together, which the couple has promoted through the last two years, has supported hospitals and their staff over the past two years. They were also introduced to the latest aid for overworked healthcare workers — a cockapoo puppy named Alfie who will be trained as a therapy dog to support patients and workers at the hospital.  See YouTube link

Newmarket Community Hospital

Plans have been approved for a new orthopaedic unit at Newmarket Hospital which would be a new building incorporating two laminar flow theatres and a 32 bedded ward.  A statement from the West Suffolk Hospitals Trust said: "The requirement for Newmarket to have its own laminar flow theatres and recovery suites will greatly benefit the local community by giving a more local site to the immediate catchment and also benefit other Suffolk patients by relieving some of the pressure on the Bury St Edmunds site."  The report said the new centre would also benefit those involved in Newmarket's horseracing industry in the event of an accident that needed immediate treatment. This orthopaedic Unit will be in addition to the current services which include 19 inpatient beds, an X-ray department, outpatient clinics, mental health services, podiatry, physiotherapy facilities and dentistry.  Read More 

New Covid service to be offered at Tewksbury Community Hospital

A unit will be opened to treat patients with Covid-19 who need a specific type of treatment called Neutralising Monoclonal Antibodies (nMABs). John Trevains, director of nursing, therapies and Quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the unit, said: "This is a new treatment, which has only been made available since December 16.  It is delivered through a drip to people aged 12 and above, who have tested positive for Covid and are at highest risk of getting seriously ill."  The unit will be located in the minor injuries unit which will be closed.  Read more

Congratulations to Rye Hospital on its Centenary Celebrations

There were celebrations at Rye Hospital to mark 100 years since the original hospital was built. Much has happened since, and the site now consists of a redeveloped community hospital, St Bartholomews Court which is extra-care sheltered housing, the GP medical centre  and the Hub on Rye Hill which is the new community resource centre. Plans are underway for a care home to be built as part of the overall development as well. Barry Nealon, Chair of the Rye community charity which owns the freehold welcomed visitors to the event. A film was premiered which had been specially made for the celebrations.  An exhibition showed the fascinating history of the hospital and community services, and the roles of key local residents including Sir Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney as well as Spike Milligan.   Jo Douglas was the clinical advisor for the  hospital redevelopment in 1990s and worked with Helen Tucker as part of the project team.  Jo is now a Trustee of the charity.  Helen Tucker attended the event on behalf of the CHA.  Further details here

Helen Tucker & Jo Douglas attending the event

Helen Tucker & Jo Douglas attending the event

The Hub on Rye Hill

The Hub on Rye Hill

View from the hospital

View from the hospital

St Bartholomew's Court

St Bartholomew's Court

Overview of St Bartholomews Court and Rye Community Hospital

Overview of St Bartholomews Court and Rye Community Hospital

Patient Experience Champion wins Award - Mold Hospital

An activities coordinator for patients has received both bronze and silver awards for her extra efforts as Patient Experience Champion.  Diane Sweeney, who works at Mold Community Hospital, volunteered to be a Patient Experience Champion and has created and developed exciting activities for her patients.  "We are all a family in Mold Community Hospital, we work hard to ensure that the patients experience is positive and this is achieved by creating activities, listening to concerns and most importantly focussing on what is important for each patient."  Read more 

Whitby Hospital's Minor Injury Unit has changed to an Urgent Treatment Centre

The MIU at Whitby Hospital only saw patients with minor injuries, but the new UTC will now also treat minor illnesses. The UTC will also have x-ray facilities.  Before attending the UTC, people should call NHS 111 to book an appointment.  Opening times will be 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year.  Michele Moran, Chief Executive at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: "These new urgent services are standardised across the country, providing additional and more accessible options for those based in remote areas. We are pleased to be able to offer these comprehensive options for care to patients in our local communities and hope that the introduction of the UTC in Whitby is a welcome addition to their community hospital."Read more

New Healthcare Hub at Saffron Walden Community Hospital 

Crocus Medical Practice is moving premises this week into a new healthcare hub.  They will move into a new space at Saffron Walden Community Hospital. West Essex CCG managing director Peter Wightman said of the move: "This is an important strategic step to enable the practice team to operate from larger modern facilities to provide primary care for residents in the Saffron Walden area. The location at the community hospital also offers a number of opportunities for health and care professionals at the site to work together."  Read more

Review of Community Hospitals in Warwickshire

The South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) is currently holding a review into the inpatient facilities at their community hospitals, with an eye on exploring their current and future use.   A spokesperson for SWFT said: "South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust is currently undertaking a review of the inpatient facilities at Ellen Badger and Stratford Hospitals. "The purpose of the review is to identify the extent to which the current model of care meets the needs of the population of south Warwickshire both now and in the years to come and will be exploring previous, current and future use of our community hospital beds alongside out-of-hospital services. "The pandemic has led to new ways of working and therefore an opportunity to review the use of these facilities, and this will be a contributing factor within this review. "The review is currently underway and the trust will share recommendations at the appropriate time."  There is concern about teh potential loss of beds, particularly given the loss of beds already at Alcester Community Hospital.   Read more

Bryn Beryl Hospital - Children Fundraising

The children of some of the staff from Bryn Beryl are very eager to raise some funds for the hospital. The children aged between 7 and 11 years are asking kindly for you to sponsor them to climb to the summit of Snowdon ( something which none of them have done before!) on July 4th weather permitting of course!  Click here to sponsor

Need for greater integration of palliative care in Community Hospitals

"To deliver high quality care requires a model of integrated care between community hospitals, geriatric care and palliative care, and a skilled workforce to manage multiple care needs across the continuum of care and into end of life." This article is published in e-hospice on 18th March 2021.  The article also gives links to us at CHA and to resources concerning palliative and end of life care.  Read more on the ehospice website

The Future of Teignmouth Hospital - Parliamentary Debate 

Anne Marie Morris MP prompted a debate on the future of Teignmouth Hospital and made 3 requests to the Secretary of State and Minister:

1. Intervene to stop the automatic closure of Teignmouth Hospital  2. Instruct the reconfiguration panel that no closure of any hospital or facility should be made going forward without the impacts of covid having been taken into account and a proper impact assessment having been made   3. Instruct the clinical commissioning group to put in hand a separate consultation specifically on the closure of Teignmouth Hospital, after the data I referred to have been collected.  Edward Argar MP, Minister for Health responded by saying that he would respond to her letter that she had written to the Secretary of State and he offered to meet with her to learn more about Teignmouth Hospital.  Edward Argar said "although the legal powers available to me in the name of the Secretary of State are limited until and unless an IRP referral is received and the advice is then given, I am always delighted to meet with my hon. Friend if she feels that would be helpful."     Read more

Call to support our community hospitals

Tribute has been paid this week to the volunteer supporters who keep local community hospitals going by contributing millions of charitable donations.  Heather Penwarden, chair of Honiton Hospital & Community League of Friends, stressed the value of community hospitals like those in Honiton, Seaton, Ottery and Axminster and encouraged more people to join the voluntary groups that support them.  Heather said this week: "During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic much has been said, and quite rightly so, in praise of our NHS hospitals and staff. "I would just like to draw attention to all the community hospitals we have in the South West and to the staff working from them, either on local medical wards, outreach renal dialysis units, outpatient clinics, emergency medical units or supporting patients in their own homes sometimes under the most challenging of circumstances."  Read more

Calls for new community hospital in Hailsham 'turned down'

Cllr Blake-Coggins "We've done some research on all of this and we've sent out 3,500 questionnaires and I have to point out that 82 per cent of those returned are in favour of Hailsham looking towards having a cottage hospital.  Cllr Blake-Coggins went on to say such a facility should have a minor injury unit, an X-ray department and 20 medical beds available for GPs to treat patients locally. The proposal was turned down.  After the meeting, Steve Murphy who is spearheading the fight for a community hospital, said: "It's a slap in the face for Hailsham residents. They have ignored the voice of the people saying we know what's best for you, let the Department of Health handle the matter." He promised that the campaign will continue and encouraged residents to make their views known, especially to the town's district councillors.  Read more

Covid-19: Argyll and Bute to use Skyport drone operation in UK first

Test delivery drones are now being used in Argyll and Bute to transport Covid-19 test samples and other medical materials between facilities. The drones can carry upto 3kg of medical supplies a maximum of 40 miles - and their cargo will include Covid-19 test kits and samples, medicine, and essential PPE. Head of strategic planning for Argyll and Bute HSCP, Stephen Whiston, said: "We are delighted to once again be at the forefront of using this innovative technology, to assess how unmanned drones can enhance our logistics operations and improve services for patients and clinicians in some of our most remote and island communities." The drone delivery service will initially operate between Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban, Mid-Argyll Community Hospital in Lochgilphead, Easdale Medical Practice in Clachan Seil and the Mull & Iona Community Hospital in Craignure.  Read more

Millions needed to restore Herefordshire's hospital buildings

MILLIONS of pounds of investment is needed to bring Herefordshire's hospital buildings up to scratch, figures reveal.  NHS Providers warned that the speed at which the NHS estate is falling into disrepair is putting patients' lives at greater risk and making it more difficult for frontline staff to provide the right quality of care.  The sites at Wye Valley NHS Trust require maintenance investment include:  Leominster Community Hospital: £370,000;  Ross Community Hospital: £287,000;  Bromyard Community Hospital: £259,000.  Read more

Hospital arts programme scoops national award

Creating With Care was started by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) four years ago and sees patients get involved in a range of activities.  The scheme was set up by Angela Conlan and dementia nurse Paula Har after Ms Conlan originally came in as an artist in residence at Witney Community Hospital.  The initiative was soon rolled out across all six of Oxford Health's community hospitals.   Patients get involved in photography, mosaics, dance, drama and poetry, and during the pandemic, activity packs have been given out, along with online performances from musicians.  Over the last four years, there has been a total of 4,350 patient attendances at sessions while £39,784 has been raised for projects.    Creating With Care claimed the Innovation and Best Practice Improving Patient Care category at the Community Hospitals Association's (CHA) Innovations and Best Practice Awards.  Judges said: "This work is an example of innovation and creativity at its best. You should all be so proud of developing and delivering this work... such passion, joy and intelligence – absolutely inspirational."  To read more about our CHA Award to Creating with Care in the Oxford Mail, follow this link

Andover Community Hospital Gets CT Scanner

The Chief Executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wrote on twitter:  "Today I Saw the brilliant new CT scanner at Andover War Memorial Hospital. The team have done a great job of getting it up and running so patients can be scanned in Andover - start of a fantastic diagnostic hub."  


Development works progressing well at hospitals across north Cumbria

Works are progressing well on major construction projects across north Cumbria's hospitals. The Trust executive director Michael Smillie said "major refurbishments and extensions having also been completed at the Keswick and Brampton community hospitals, the past 24 months have been "really exciting" in terms of improving the trust's facilities.  Both Keswick and Brampton have increased their bed numbers and improved their facilities.We continue to develop clinic and site bases at all our hospitals."   He added that he was particularly grateful to the Leagues of Friends of both hospitals, who had been instrumental in achieving such significant refurbishments for both sites. "I'm actually humbled by their tenacity, their big-hearted support for our community hospitals," he said.  Read more 


Campaigners battling to save an historic community hospital in Lutterworth believe they are winning their desperate fight  Campaigners battling to save an historic community hospital in Lutterworth believe they are winning their desperate fight. Mary Guppy, 77, said she is feeling much more confident of saving the town's Feilding Palmer Hospital after holding crunch talks with regional NHS leaders and South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa.  "We held a very positive meeting with local health chiefs and I'm delighted at how it went."  Read more 

First students start at North Devon's new school of nursing

A new school of nursing in North Devon is allowing local people to gain a nursing degree closer to home. Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT), Petroc and the University of Bolton have teamed up to support people to study for a nursing degree locally rather than travel out of area.  The students' placements will see them gain experience on the wards at North Devon District Hospital, in South Molton Community Hospital, and with the community nursing teams caring for patients in their own homes in Barnstaple, South Molton and Holsworthy.  Read more 


Edward Hain Hospital

NHS bosses accused of 'planning to sell off' Edward Hain Hospital in St Ives

West Cornwall HealthWatch (WCHW) has accused NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) of only being interested in closing down Edward Hain Community Hospital in St Ives so it could sell off the building.  The watchdog said NHS bosses in the county had not really looked at bringing the 12 in-patient beds back into use, after closing the community hospital "temporarily" four years ago.   The Kernow CCG has issued a questionnaire asking residents to suggest uses for the hospital – so long as they don't involve reopening its in-patient beds.  Edward Hain Hospital was originally closed on the grounds of it being fire risk, and last month the CCG said that reopening the inpatients beds was not an option.  Read more 

Phase two of Llandrindod hospital upgrade approved by health board

Plans worth up to £4 million for the next upgrade to Llandrindod Wells County War Memorial hospital, have been submitted to the Welsh Government.  Welsh Government Health Minister Vaughan Gething visited Llandrindod County War Memorial hospital in March 2020 to see the Phase One redevelopments.  Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) gave phase two of the project the go ahead at their meeting on Thursday, October 22.  The first phase of the redevelopment at Llandrindod has seen an expanded renal dialysis unit reducing the need of patients to travel to Hereford.  Other improvement include an integrated day surgery, endoscopy and day ward area to provide more surgical and diagnostic procedures. Read more 

Andover hospital first in region to get new scanning technology

Andover hospital has received a new piece of potentially life-saving equipment as part of a £1.5M investment package for medical imaging in the area.  A new computed tomography (CT) scanner has been installed at Andover War Memorial Hospital.  The scanner is the first of its kind in the region, and helps to support staff in providing the best possible care to patients in North and Mid-Hampshire.  Dr Julian Elford, consultant radiologist at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the project said: "This is fantastic news for Hampshire Hospitals and for all patients coming into our hospitals for planned investigations."  "This is an exciting time for Hampshire Hospitals as we continue to develop our community-based services while ensuring our busy acute sites can offer the best possible care to the patients that need it."Read more 

New equipment prevents journeys for patients

Patients with heart problems will no longer have to make a round trip to Ipswich for a diagnosis after new equipment was presented to Felixstowe Community Hospital.  Members of the Rotary Club of Felixstowe raised funds for the ECG (electrocardiogram) machine and club president Dougie Pipe presented it to Renee Ward, lead nurse of the Falls and Frailty clinic for the Felixstowe Team at the hospital in Constable Road.  Read more  

Visiting patients suspended at York, Malton and Selby hospitals

Visiting patients at seven hospitals in and around York has been stopped in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.  As of Wednesday, October 21 York Hospital Trust, which includes York Hospital,Scarborough Hospital, Bridlington Hospital, Malton Community Hospital, The New Selby War Memorial Hospital, St Helen's rehabilitation hospital in Dringhouses and St Monica's Easingwold has suspended visiting to all sites.  A spokesperson from the Trust said: "We have taken this decision to limit the spread of Covid-19, and to protect vulnerable patients and ensure staff safety. As soon as it possible to safely relax the visiting restrictions we will do so."  Read more 

Two consultations on future of county's NHS services go live - time to have your say

One consultation is on what services a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean should provide when it opens.  The local NHS is asking people to have their say on what services they want for a new £11million community hospital in Cinderford.  The hospital is planned to replace the Dilke Memorial and Lydney hospitals, which the NHS in Gloucestershire has previously said are no longer fit for purpose. Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS foundation Trust said the new hospital, which will serve everyone in the district, will be built on greenfield land in the north of Cinderford.  A new 24-bed community hospital, delivering urgent care between 8am and 8pm seven days a week, diagnostic services and a car park with about 150 spaces are planned.  Previous consultation with the public highlighted issues raised by residents – including travel and access, end of life care and inpatient capacity – which the NHS says it wants to provide solutions to.  The NHS document also said a working group will be set up to see if there is a possibility to develop options for more urgent care services in the Lydney area.  Read more 

Brackley's new health centre about to open

A new health centre is due to open in Brackley, Northamptonshire later this year, with a purpose-built hospital ward, with inpatient hospital community beds, among other services.  The community hospital inpatient beds service will be similar to other services that Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) runs across the county at Isebrook Hospital in Wellingborough, Danetre Hospital in Daventry, and Corby Community Hospital.  Read more 

Shotley Bridge

Government to fund new 16-bed community hospital in Shotley Bridge in County Durham. The Prime Minister confirmed a new 16-bed community hospital in Shotley Bridge will be part of plans to build 40 hospitals in England by 2030.   It'll be built on the former steel works site in Consett, Durham. The Government say it's 'Health Infrastructure Plan' is the biggest hospital building programme in a generation - and that the County Durham site is part of their levelling up agenda for the North.    A plan to rebuild Northgate Hospital in Morpeth is also pending final approval.  Read more

Final stage of East Lothian Community Hospital completed

The East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington has now been handed over to NHS Lothian and the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership after the final phase of the project was completed by its development partner hub South East.  Calum Campbell, chief executive for NHS Lothian, said: "It's great to see the East Lothian Community Hospital now fully complete. It really is a fantastic, attractive facility that is helping us to deliver high quality care, closer to home. This is convenient for our patients and helps relieve pressure on other hospital sites.  Read more

'Use Worcestershire's Minor Injury Units to take pressure off A&Es' say health bosses

People are being urged to go to community hospitals, including the Princess of Wales in Bromsgrove and Malvern's Community Hospital, which can deal with small cuts, burns, strains or suspected fractures. Patients can now book an appointment slot at one of the sites via NHS111 or can just turn up and be triaged on site. There is a good chance they will be seen quicker than if they were to go to one of the county's A&Es. "Often the waiting times in our MIUs are significantly less than an A&E department and we have also taken all necessary steps to ensure our units are safe and can adhere to social distancing measures. Anyone attending a unit should wear a face mask, and we are also asking that only one person attends if possible."  Minor Injury Units at Tenbury and Evesham Community Hospitals remain closed at the moment. Read more 

Benenden Hospital launches health webinars

Individual webinars will be led by one of Benenden Hospital's team of leading consultants who will talk about the treatments within their area of expertise, concluding with a live question and answer session.  Rowan Connell, medical director at Benenden Hospital said: "The webinars have been developed through a combination of responding to what patients have asked for and close working between teams at the hospital and will help to de-mystify and educate patients on a number of popular treatments.   In addition to the public webinars, Benenden Hospital has also launched a series of treatment webinars for GPs across the region.   Read more 

Work on new £10m Hythe hospital set to start

Work to build a £10m state-of-the-art community hospital in Hythe is to begin this month, two years after planning permission was granted.  The go-ahead was granted by New Forest District Council in 2018 for a new healthcare facility and up to 21 homes on the site of the former Hythe and Dibden War Memorial Hospital.  The new hospital will provide a range of health and wellbeing services for local people including outpatients, therapy and diagnostic services as well as specialist community dentistry. League of Friends chair John Carr added: "This is such good news for the local community and has been long awaited."   Read more 

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board Covid outbreak in eastern area hospitals declared 'closed'

North Wales health board has said a coronavirus outbreak in some eastern area hospitals including Deeside Community Hospital and Wrexham's Maelor Hospital is now over has been declared 'closed'. Today Dr Kate Clark, Secondary Care Medical Director for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "It has now been 28 days since any new positive cases of COVID-19 were identified as part of the outbreak in our East area. As a result, we have declared that the outbreak is now closed."  Read more 

A Spitfire plane is due to fly over Stirling community hospital to thank front-line workers

A Spitfire plane travelling around Scotland is due to fly of the Stirling Community Hospital around 2pm this afternoon. The NHSSpitfire as it is called, has been flying over hospital around Scotland since 10am this morning, with the words "THANK U NHS". It is flying over Scotland's hospital to celebrate and thank those who are still working on the frontlines to fight the coronavirus pandemic.  Read more

Upgrade for Dawlish Hospital as Teignmouth set to close

Some services would move to a new £8million health and wellbeing centre in Teignmouth town centre. Public consultation on the plans launched at the start of September had been delayed from March due to the coronavirus pandemic.That meant a start date on the site for the new health and wellbeing centre was pushed back to January 2021.  Read more 

Antenatal services relocated from Withington Community Hospital in order to 'protect the safety of service users and staff'

Changes have been made to south Manchester maternity services in order to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19. Community midwifery services at Withington Community Hospital have been relocated to the Borchardt Medical Centre, which is also in Withington. Women needing blood tests for gestational diabetes will be able to access services via Wythenshawe Hospital. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said the changes would maintain a local antenatal service for women while also being part of safety measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.   Read more 

Smaller hospitals to thrive, says Hancock

"I've always been a massive fan of community hospitals and putting services in the community where they are needed, and the coronavirus crisis, if anything, has shown us how important it is to have hospitals and NHS services that are part of the community," Matt Hancock has said.  "There was an era where more and more services were being centralised in huge locations. That era is over. The future of the NHS is getting services into the community, including community hospitals and the small and medium sized district general hospitals.  Shotley Bridge, he said, was on the brink of getting a new community hospital,  "We have tried to split the NHS into green sites, which are Covid-free, and blue sites, where there may be Covid, so people going, for instance, for cancer treatment are safer.  Shotley Bridge has had a pandemic bounce with oncology and chemotherapy treatments now taking place there."   Read more 

Professor Jon Glasby speaking on Community Hospitals 

Professor Jon Glasby presents the key findings of the report which shows that community hospitals are valued and trusted by patients and communities.   Jon Glasby talks of decisions on health provision being driven by "value for money."  Jon Glasby asks whether we should not focus as much as the "value" as the "money" - and have a broader notion of what matters to local people when we are deciding about the future of local services.    Link for the video   Link to the Report 

Past News 

News stories that have been posted on the CHA website are available to download in a pdf document

News Items up to Sept 2020

News items 2019 

News Items Sept 2018 

News Items Sept 2017

News Items March 2017 

News Items Jan 17

News Items Sept 2016  


Back to top