This week details (well lots of words) were released about the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Cornwall. In a less than clear message, the future of Cottage Hospitals in Cornwall are in the mix and could be under-threat.
In-light of this, I have asked the Chief-Officer of the Health organisation this service comes under about the future of Helston Cottage Hospital. Whilst the reply to my question was not crystal clear this hospital would not be one that would close, I am content the reply given to me gave hope that the Cottage Hospital is not in danger of closing. I might sound a little cryptic, but I know of wider positives that are being discussed for this hospital which would help secure the future of the hospital.
However, residents of the Helston, Porthleven and the Lizard area have the chance to ask health professionals directly and the future of Helston Cottage Hospital, and the STP at the South Kerrier Community Network Panel. This is a public meeting and all are invited to attend this panel meeting. The meeting takes place on Wednesday 7th December between 6pm and 8pm at Cury Village Hall, Helston.
For those who do not know, the STP is a five year plan required by NHS England to improve the health and wellbeing of our local population. Other more cynical people would say this is about saving money in the system. Especially in light of the budget shortfall in NHS Kernow of near £50m. To give more context to the level of savings needed, the amounts are highlighted on page 10 of the ‘Shaping the Future’ document. It says:
“Our whole system annual budget is approximately £1.2 billion and if we do nothing our overall budget deficit will grow to £264 million by 2020/21. We must therefore make significant savings.”
That spells out a clear message of this is more than just improving – which is very welcomed – services, but reducing/stopping them too.
I urge you to turn up at this meeting and ask your questions. One thing is sure, I will do everything to make sure Helston’s much valued cottage hospital is not closed, but I need your support too.