Plans move better together

Site of new day care centre

The Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital Ltd charity continues to progress its plans to bring more health related services to the local community, in line with East Sussex “Better Together” strategy.

As well as the hospital, which has a 19 bed unit designated by the NHS for intermediate care for patients leaving the Conquest Hospital or Eastbourne District General Hospital, who have rehabilitation needs for more intensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy and active involvement from adult social care, there are an increasing number of outpatient clinic sessions being held, since the refurbishment and upgrading of the ground floor of the Memorial Hospital building.

This part of the building, both beds and outpatient clinics, is leased to East Sussex Healthcare Trust (ESHT). Plans are now in development by the charity to develop a care home and day care centre adjacent to this unit, which will not be leased to ESHT.

There are two planning applications under discussion: a 60 bed care home to be sited on land next door to the GP surgery, and a day care centre/neighbourhood hub on the site of the former ambulance station.

Site now cleared

Terms have been agreed with Greensleeves Care, a regional not for profit company with high performance ratings from the Care Quality Commssion for their 20 plus homes, to be the developer and care home operator. They have facilities already at St Leonards-on–Sea and Tunbridge Wells. The charity is leasing to the company for 125 years and in it is a requirement for 25% of the beds to be community funded for the benefit of local residents, not  privately funded.

Planning is at an early stage and a pre-planning application has been made. Prior to this, Greensleeves Care and the charitable trust board carried out a careful analysis of local need for this type of facility. Greensleeves Care concluded that there would be sufficient capacity to make this a going concern and the target date for completion is June 2019.

The second one currently in detailed discussions with the planning department, is the multi-purpose Day Care Centre on the site of the former ambulance station. This site is at the top of the hill, immediately adjacent to the present Memorial Care Centre entrance and car park.

A number of different providers have been consulted and the architect-designed plans have taken account of the differing needs and suggestions from these possible stakeholders. This has a target date of the end of 2018. It is proposed that the charitable trust will maintain ownership and running of this facility.

Demolition of the former ambulance station has now been completed and the rubble left on site will mainly be used for recycling into the construction of the new building.

Full consultation with the local community is taking place about the care home and the day care centre, with, for example, a presentation by Mr Barry Nealon, Chair of the Board and Mrs Sally Compton, Chair of the Friends of the Hospital at Rye, to Rye Foreign Parish Council on the  evening of May 9, to which other local councillors were also invited. Further questions and comments would be welcomed by the board.

The formal applications have yet to be made, so information is not available at the moment on the Rother planning applications website.

Photos: Courtesy of Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital Charity Ltd


  1. When we were running a carehome in Westfield we reduced the number of registered beds to under 20; anything over that would not be used by the local authority as they felt it was too large and impersonal, incapable of providing a homely environment. And yet here we are discussing a 60 bed unit. What has changed?


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