Article by Christine Sexton: A total of 22 beds have been axed at a community hospital as part of plans to save money, igniting concerns that nearby hospitals will have to pick the pieces.
NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group needs to make big cuts to save £14million.
As part of the money saving measures, the care beds at Mayflower Hospital, in Blunts Wall Road, Billericay, have been scrapped. The beds are for patients who are not acutely unwell, but still require a degree of care and support.
A spokesman for the Group said it will invest £1million in supporting people in their own homes. She said:
“It is better for patients to be supported to regain their independence while living in their normal residence if at all possible. But if people do need bed-based care, we still have 17 intermediate care beds on the Thorndon Ward at Brentwood Community Hospital and 22 beds in Mountnessing Court, Billericay. The 22 intermediate care beds at Mayflower Hospital closed on March 30. In their place we are investing £1million and have commissioned an Intensive Rehab Service which supports people in their own homes."
Residents took to social media to vent their disappointment.
Billericay town councillor Maire Dear, who knows people who have undergone surgery there, said: “When I heard the news I was disappointed for the people of Billericay.
“Members of the public have been saying this could put more pressure back on hospitals. This was discussed in public meetings, but it appears those public meetings didn’t make any difference."
The Echo has approached the hospital for comment.
Article by Christine Sexton, The Echo