Hospital trust chairman's thanks

Barry Nealon, chairman of the Memorial hospital, draws the winner at last year's raffle

We are delighted to say that the Rother District Planning Committee approved our application to build a care home adjacent to our hospital, thanks in significant measure to the 400 residents of Rye and District who provided a supporting petition. This was very articulately and passionately delivered by Pat Hughes, the Operations Manager of the community bus service.
The scale of the community support was reminiscent of the days when our charity was formed in the early 1990’s to raise the funds and build the hospital that ensured we continue to have first class health services in Rye. My Board remains very conscious of its mission to continually seek to deliver clinical improvement and community gain.
As David Worwood noted in one of his e mails to me voicing his objection to our plans, “ this was a democratic process”  and your votes really counted. The Committee approved the proposals by a vote of 10 to 1.
The Planning Application was first made in September 2017 and it has taken seven months of  intensive discussion and review with our community stakeholders to refine the plans to take on board concerns that have been raised. We particularly wish to thank Playden and Rye Foreign parish councils for their keen interest, observations and subsequent support. It gave us verification that this is a much needed service for this part of East Sussex.
We also need to acknowledge the thorough review and support given by Rye Conservation Society whose expert planning team studied the plans carefully for their appropriateness in a sensitive planning environment.
This is not the end of the journey as there is much to do to work through the planning conditions before any work can begin on site, but we are closer to bringing the last part of our vision to Rye:
We will have Primary Care (GP surgery); Intermediate Care (the hospital); Extra Care ( 55 independent living units); Day Care (the development on the ambulance station site), and now Residential Care ( the 60 bed Care Home). We are advised that on completion we will be a national exemplar for community health services in the struggle to deliver more services closer to home, thus relieving the pressure on the acute hospitals.
Greensleeves Care, who is our chosen developer and operator of the care home is a not for profit charity with the enviable reputation of being the leading provider in the south east as rated by the “Which Report” enjoying very high ratings from the Care Quality Commission for the service it provides. They are a charity which shares our commitment to quality and care and they will be liaising with the GP practice and other healthcare stakeholders to develop a sustainable service model that is within the capacity of all concerned.
Once again our sincere thanks.

Photo: Rye News library

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