Consult with the people of Morpeth regarding the implications of the removal of the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington, and especially upon the impact upon elderly and vulnerable patients, and future community provision to meet the needs of an ageing population.
Why is this important?
The people of Morpeth were promised that we would continue to have a rehab unit based in Morpeth, following on from the closure of Morpeth Cottage Hospital in 2009. This amenity has now been removed without any consultation with the greater public, most of whom up until this week have had no knowledge whatsoever that the Whalton Unit is leaving Morpeth in 2 weeks time.
Consideration needs to be given to the fact that many elderly and vulnerable people will have to travel to Wansbeck Hospital via public transport, which means that they will have to catch 2 buses, including a walk and a wait, especially during the Winter months.
Consideration needs to be given to whether a ward in a general hospital can meet the rehabilitation and end of life needs of elderly and vulnerable patients and their families in the same way as a small unit within the community.
Removing a valued amenity without either public consultation or adequate notice, causes anxiety, fear and lack of confidence at a time when we should be seeking to build confidence and resilience within a community, especially amongst its most vulnerable members.