West Cornwall MP seeks to reassure St Ives residents about the future of Edward Hain Community Hospital.

Derek Thomas MP has stated he is confident that every effort is being made to re-open beds at Edward Hain Hospital by the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust following a meeting with its Chief Executive, Phil Confue.

Earlier this year, in-patients were transferred to Camborne Redruth Community Hospital following a fire safety survey raised serious concerns about how patients would be evacuated in the event of a fire. Since then the hospital has remained open for out-patient appointments only and local campaigners, including Derek Thomas, have been pressing for the beds to be re-opened as soon as possible.

At a meeting organized for the Friends of Edward Hain and West Cornwall Healthwatch to meet with MrConfue and attended by Derek Thomas, local GPs and St Ives Mayor Linda Taylor, Mr Confue gave the reassurance that as soon as the rectification work is completed and the hospital safe, the beds would re-open. He also said every measure was being made to support and retain staff during the closure.

Derek said: “People are understandably concerned about the future of Edward Hain Hospital. We were reassured at the meeting that re-opening the beds is a priority for the Trust who took over delivering health care at community hospitals on April 1st. However they are unable to fulfill that commitment at the moment because the hospital building belongs to NHS Property Company who have a responsibility to carry out the necessary rectification work, but have yet to do so or say when it will be completed.

Following today’s meeting my job now is to press NHS Property Company to set out clearly what work needs to be done and the timescale for carrying it out. I shall be urgently asking this week to see theirintrusive survey and to be given assurances about the completion date of the rectification work.

Speaking for the Friends of the Hospital, Chairman Chris Cocklin said: "The Friends of Edward Hain Hospital welcome the assurance given by Mr Confue, Chief Executive of CPFT, that all the beds will be re-opened as a priority. However, the closure took place in February with patients and staff transferred to Camborne and Redruth Community Hospital and beyond. To date, there is no indication from the NHS Property Company, who ordered the hospital's closure, of any timescale for undertaking and completing the remedial work. Whilst we welcome the support of all who are working hard for a speedy resolution to the situation, the Friends will continue with it's petition calling for all the beds to be re-opened and wish to thank the local community for it's continued support."

Commenting on the meeting Graham Webster, Vice Chair of Health Initiative Cornwall (HIC) said "I am reassured by the efforts now being made to re-open the 12 in-patient beds at the hospital as soon as it is safe to do so. The beds make a vital contribution to patient's on-going care here in West Cornwall and have a significant role to play in easing the pressures and improving performance at both West Cornwall and Royal Cornwall Hospitals".

St Ives Mayor, Linda Taylor said: “Our community hospital is a vital pulse within the St Ives community, I am confident, that this initiative will bring the reopening of Edward Hain one step closer.”

Local GP, Dr Dan Rainbow said: “As local GPs we are keen to see that the patients of Penwith, and St. Ives in particular, have access to the care they need in their own communities. I am reassured by the comments I heard at this meeting and hope that Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and NHS Property Services are able to work together to get our much loved community hospital open as soon as possible".

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives