Councillors back motion to fight to keep Bradwell Hospital fully open

Newcastle Borough Councillors have reaffirmed their commitment to supporting the future of Bradwell Hospital as a community hospital with functioning wards.

A motion calling for the “well-loved and used asset” to accommodate a new integrated care hub and share an allocation of 55 community care beds received unanimous, cross-party support at last night’s Full Council meeting.

North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are currently consulting on proposed changes to local health services, which involve identifying locations for four care hubs and community beds.

Bradwell Hospital is the preferred venue to host care hub services in Newcastle, as opposed to Milehouse LIFT - but there are concerns that this isn’t guaranteed without strong local support which could potentially signal the loss of the Bradwell site.           

Under the proposals, there is provision for 132 community care beds – reduced from 264 – but 77 of these will be based at Haywood Community Hospital. While Bradwell is one of the options to share the remaining 55 beds with Haywood, the preference is to base them in care homes instead.

The 64 beds at Bradwell were temporarily closed pending consultation, with funding instead invested into community services including Home First which is delivered by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Cllr. Allison Gardner, who proposed the motion, said: “The Council has consistently supported the ongoing campaign to keep Bradwell Hospital a fully functioning community hospital with wards available for step up and step down care.

“Bradwell is valued as it’s an accessible hospital, offers good parking, is modern and has pleasant surroundings. The clinics are heavily used and well thought of. The loss of the intermediate care, palliative care and dementia wards have caused hardship to local residents, physically, mentally and financially.

“This consultation, by its modelling for 132 community beds and stating a preference for care homes over community hospitals, de facto results in the closure of community hospitals without formal consultation.

“We all feel strongly that Bradwell Hospital is the best place in Newcastle for a care hub and the available community beds. I want us all to stand united in the fight to keep it open.”

Cllr. Gardner’s motion also calls for councillors and residents to take part in the consultation – available at www.healthservicesnorthstaffs.nhs.uk until 17 March – and attend a consultation workshop at the Holy Trinity Community Centre, London Road, on Wednesday, 13 February at 7pm. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/future-of-local-health-services-public-eventnewcastle-under-lyme-tickets-53436899204 .

Council Leader Simon Tagg will outline the Council’s stance – while expressing concern at the 50 per cent reduction in community beds without consultation – to consultation partnership Together We’re Better as well as the CCGs and Staffordshire County Council.

Cllr. Tagg said: “Bradwell Hospital is a fantastic facility that provides essential support on our doorstep.

"I will write to the accountable bodies with pleasure highlighting the Council’s position that it should continue to play a valuable and active role in the community.”

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