Lowestoft Wants To Keep Hospital

LCAC hospital ballot results:

  • YES 4
  • NO 190

In a snap opinion poll held between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm in London Road North, Lowestoft on Saturday 28 September and 5 October, 2013, organised by Lowestoft Coalition Against the Cuts, 194 members of the public posted their one word answers in the polling box to a simple question: Do you agree with HealthEast’s decision to close Lowestoft Hospital?

The answer was overwhelming. Only four out of 194 agreed with the closure decision. The poll exposes the consultation for what it was. An apparent offer to spend millions or continual decline? The consultation was an expensive fraud. What is surprising is that so many voted to oppose HealthEast’s “preferred option”.

Lowestoft Hospital Consultation

HealthEast was apparently offering to spend millions on a new health centre in Kirkley and one in north Lowestoft but would close the hospital and buy beds in private care homes. Its alternative was to “do nothing”, that is to allow the hospital’s decline to continue. HealthEast got the answer it wanted. LCAC has launched an official complaint against the “loaded” questionnaire.

The James Paget Hospital

As HealthEast’s consultation ended the JPH announced £20m cuts. The hospital is “not clinically viable” says new Chief Executive, Christine Allen, who intends to close departments, cut 600 staff and shorten hospital stays. Emergency readmissions have doubled in the past ten years and workers predict “chaos” in A&E this winter. Yet HealthEast will close Lowestoft Hospital which takes pressure off the Paget. Why?

Beccles, Halesworth And Southwold Hospitals

Andy Evans, Chief Executive of HealthEast, told owestoft residents that if his plan to close Lowestoft Hospital goes through then all Waveney’s community hospitals, at Beccles, Halesworth and Southwold will be closed. Do the people of Beccles, Halesworth and Southwold know this?

Who Is Responsible?

Local GPs own HealthEast the body which controls most of the NHS budget for Great Yarmouth and Waveney. Do GPs support cuts to NHS services? Do they support hospital closures? Do they support privatisation? Ask your GP.

Carlton Court Hospital

Based in Carlton Colville, the hospital provides inpatient and outpatient services for those suffering from mental health and dementia conditions. Need is growing but the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust is closing Poppies, the day centre, and proposes to replace hospital beds with home visits. Over 400 jobs are to go. Clinicians have labelled the plans “chaotic” and “dangerous”. Last year 161 “serous incidents” including 53 “unexpected deaths” were reported to the Trust. It is a disgrace.

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