West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas says he is impressed with the common resolve shown to get the Edward Hain Hospital in St Ives reopened following a meeting of concerned stakeholders last week.
The 12-beds at the much-loved community hospital have been closed since February due to concerns about fire safety and at Friday’s meeting a video was shown of the current evacuation procedure which involves dragging patients out of the building on ‘evacuation mats’ because it is impossible to get the beds through the ward doorways.
Work had been scheduled to start earlier this month but now health officials have decided that even with remedial works, some patients – particularly those with mobility problems - would not be able to escape the building safely in the event of a fire.
The meeting saw representatives from service providers Cornwall Foundation Trust, hospital owners NHS Property Services and the Kernow Clinical Commissioning as well as Mr Thomas, local GPs and Friends of Edward Hain discuss how to ensure the hospital has a viable future.
They heard that an £800,000 investment to allow for a reconfiguration of the interior of the hospital and the installation of a new sprinkler system could provide it with a new lease of life.
Mr Thomas said: “NHS Property Services and Cornwall Foundation Trust set out what work is needed and how they intend to do this.
“Every effort is being made to reopen the 12 beds in the hospital and everyone is working together to achieve this for patients and their families.
“Outpatient services continue at Edward Hain Hospital and this temporary bed closure gives the opportunity to identify exactly what healthcare delivered in a community hospital should look like.
“In Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly we are being asked to develop a sustainable transformation plan (STP) for NHS services - this is the opportunity to achieve meaningful integration of health and social care and I see Edward Hain Community Hospital as part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Member of Parliament for St Ives