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To: Janet Guy, Chair, NCCG & David Evans, Chief Executive, Northumbria NHS Trust

Save Rothbury Hospital from closure.

Significant success!

I am absolutely delighted to be writing today to tell you that we have had a considerable victory in our campaign to have the beds reinstated at Rothbury Community Hospital. There have had to be compromises, but what we have achieved is a pragmatic agreement.

As you will remember, we argued for Coquetdale Cares: The Community Vision, back in 2017. Earlier this year, myself and Maurice Cole, met with Sir Jim Mackey and Claire Riley of the NHS Trust. They really listened to our concerns and began to get things moving.

During the last few months, the CCG and the NHS Trust have been listening and working together, and with community representatives, to make what they are calling The Art of the Possible, a reality. The Art of the Possible is their response to our Vision. And we like it!

It involves a plan to:

Increase outpatient clinics, from falls clinics through to orthopaedics and others, some of which will use new technological links that enable virtual consultations.
Provide additional clinical and daycare services utilising the hospital site as a hub for health and care delivery. Services include:
Dementia care
Learning disability forums
Health and well-being clinics
Chemotherapy care
Enhanced emergency healthcare planning
Mental Health and IAPT services
Introduce a new metric to measure the number of miles travelled for services and, where possible, the NHS will look to reduce this.
Introduce a flexible bed model – with inpatient beds available within the hospital for short-term rehab and end of life care. The number of beds will be dependent on clinical need.
Importantly, they have really taken on board our idea to have rooms available for carers/partners/loved ones to stay when appropriate. This will be particularly during end-of-life care, and potentially if someone is admitted with dementia, their carers could stay too. They are definitely looking into making this available.

I hope you will agree that this is all excellent news. The team are delighted.

However - at the CCG Meeting yesterday, I made a sincere promise to the community - to keep a watchful eye on how this all develops. We have every intention of closely monitoring the unfolding of this. We cannot afford at this stage to let our guard down.

The opening date is planned for 1st April 2020. Let's hope there is nothing 'foolish' about it!

With great thanks to you for your continued belief in the Campaign and support of it.

Love and happiness


Katie Scott
Co-ordinator, Save Rothbury Community Hospital Campaign

We, the undersigned, call upon the NHS Northumberland CCG and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to safeguard the future of Rothbury Community Hospital and re-open the ward with immediate effect.

Why is this important?

The Save Rothbury Hospital Campaign believe that the suspension of in-patient services at Rothbury is having significant adverse consequences for our local population. We want to protect this precious and valuable resource. We ask the NHSCCG and NHS Foundation Trust to think with their hearts - not with their wallets.

The immediate effects the sudden closure are:

1. Patients are not being admitted to a low tech facility close to home. This will cause a higher rate of acute admissions to the new Cramlington hospital.
2. Patients are unable to return to a low tech facility for rehabilitation, and discharge planning, close to home after an acute admission elsewhere.
3. Most crucially of all - we are left with no facility to provide end of life care for patients close to home, if circumstances, including patient choice, mean they cannot be cared for in their own homes.

The people who are suffering (and will continue to suffer) as a result of this heartless decision are our frail and vulnerable residents of Rothbury and Coquetdale. We refuse to allow this to happen - we care about all of our people.
Rothbury, Northumberland

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2019-09-04 10:16:13 +0100

Great strides have been made! NCC Scrutiny listened to Sir Jim Mackay outline plans for the future of the hospital. They (Scrutiny) approved of the plans.

2019-08-29 11:28:12 +0100

Petition is successful with 4,069 signatures

2019-08-29 10:17:59 +0100

Tuesday 3rd September: 12.30: County Hall, Northumberland
Health and Wellbeing Oversight and Scrutiny Committee meeting - to hear and comment on the plan The Art of the Possible. Come along and support us!

2019-08-29 10:16:52 +0100

At the CCG Extraordinary Governing Body meeting on 28.8.2019, they agreed to recommend approval for the plan for our hospital. The Art of the Possible is the plan, built on the Campain's Vision: Coquetdale Cares, and worked up by the NHS Trust, CCG, and community participants. It includes inpatient beds. You can read more

2019-08-20 16:19:43 +0100

The next meeting of the Rothbury Engagement Meeting is to be held on Tuesday 27th August 2019. Here we will see a presentation of the plan for the future of the hospital.
The Campaign has been working with the NHS Trust and CCG to design the Hospital/Health and Wellbeing Centre and so we have our fingers crossed that these final proposals are what we need and deserve.

2019-06-05 14:53:31 +0100

Members of the Campaign Team are working with the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to get them to understand what is needed in Coquetdale, in terms of end-of-life and rehabilitation beds. They are listening.
We are also part of the community groups working with the CCG engagment group. We hope very much that the health system across Northumberland will work together to make our hospital the best community hospital in the land!

2019-02-07 09:32:02 +0000

We are very pleased to report that the Scrutiny Committee has agreed to come to see the Campaign Team and listen to our reasons why the ward should be reopened. This is great news as we are certain we can persuade them of the need for the beds.

2019-01-27 15:55:58 +0000

NCC's full Health and Wellbeing Oversight and Scrutiny Committee met to hear from myself (Katie Scott) and Cllr Bridgett (Local Member). We had ten minutes each. The CCG gave a presentation which was scrutinised by the Committee, and listened to with amusement, and horror, by the audience. Healthwatch gave a good account of their engagement about our hospital ward closure, insisting that many people had written to them asking for the Save Rothbury Hospital Campaign Team to be recognised as speaking on behalf of the community. A letter will go out to all who have signed this petition shortly. Meanwhile you can see a report on the meeting here:

2019-01-06 10:06:06 +0000

The NCC Review Group is made up of Scrutiny Cllrs plus a member of Healthwatch. The first meeting took place in December. It was not very impressive.

2018-12-06 20:51:32 +0000

A Working Group has been formed to review the case. The Save Rothbury Community Hospital Campaign Group was not informed, or invited to join the discussions. The Team will try their best to get on the working group, to argue for the best outcome for the elderly and vulnerable in Coquetdale.

2018-11-27 15:56:03 +0000

Matt Hancock has released the report by the IRP. The CCG consultation was flawed. The Secretary of State for Health insists that in talks, the reopening of the ward MUST be considered. The Team consider this to be a considerable victory.

2018-11-12 18:45:53 +0000

Thank you to the 600+ who emailed Matt Hancock. On 20th November, our MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, will be meeting face to face with him to ask him directly what the advice of the IRP was, and for him to reverse the closure of the ward.

2018-09-27 09:18:16 +0100

After the visit to Westminster by Katie Scott, with other NHS Campaigners, to ask MPs to do something about the delays by the Department of Health and Social Care in acting on referrals, still nothing has happened. Our wonderful ward has been closed for over two years now. It is outrageous. 38 Degrees will be emailing you soon to ask you to email Matt Hancock.

2018-08-29 15:36:03 +0100

Here is a link to one of the Look North news items on our hospital campaign. The reasons given here for needing the inpatient beds to be reopened remains the case:

2018-01-23 08:30:44 +0000

Although we handed this petition (and the hand signed paper versions) in a while ago, it is still worth signing and we can then email you with our updates. Thanks, Katie Scott, Co-ordinator, Save Rothbury Community Hospital Campaign.