Update on Health and Wellbeing Centre – Public Meeting Edenbridge
30 November 2018
Following earlier consultations, the decision has been made to close the Edenbridge War Memorial Hospital and current GP surgery and replace them with a new combined GP surgery, health hub and community resource.
This meeting was to update the public about the proposed new site in Four Elms Road, the services it would contain and to answer questions. As highlighted in the proposed SDC Local Plan, the site would be on green belt land near the Eden Centre. Copies of presentations have been requested and photos of wall displays are attached.
All places for the meeting (over 100) were taken and there was a long waiting list. The meeting was chaired by Tom Tugendhat, the local MP, who has now agreed to meet with SDSAF members regularly for mutual updates.
The current hospital was built to commemorate local people who died for their country. This evoked deep emotion and all in the room were respectful of this. Strong arguments were made to retain and improve current services, but it was made clear that, in the interests of progress, the new and innovative scheme would be going ahead.
Merilyn and Eileen attended on behalf of SDSAF and asked questions about the loss of 14 inpatient beds, GP capacity and the destination of proceeds from property sales.
In patient beds
These will definitely be lost and patients will have to go further afield with consequent inconvenience for them and their families. Loss will hopefully be mitigated by hiring beds from local care homes and providing improved ‘hospital at home’ services.
There will be no further GP resources under the new system unless this is justified by population growth. GPs present were hopeful that the new efficient ‘one stop shop’ and the use of social prescribing would alleviate many of the current pressures. They acknowledged difficulties highlighted by the recent ‘out of hours’ crisis but no solution was offered.
It was clear that the finances for the new project are not yet in place and are at an exploratory stage. There is no guarantee that the proceeds of sale of the existing premises will go back into the Edenbridge community though strong representations are being made to retain the funding locally. The audience were asked to send supportive emails, which we have done.
During networking time we gave information about SDSAF and were approached by a current member who is a potential recruit for the Health Action Group.
1 Dec 2018