The hospital’s 12 inpatient beds were temporarily closed in February 2016 due to fire safety concerns, with some outpatient podiatry and community clinics still operating from the site pre-COVID-19.
Dr Neil Walden, Edward Hain project group clinical lead, said: “18 months ago we started work with our valued community stakeholder group to review the health and care needs and services across Penwith, including the future use of Edward Hain community hospital in St Ives.
“The group – made up of local people, health and social care partners including clinicians and community experts including Healthwatch Cornwall and West Cornwall Healthwatch – has influenced each step of the process, which has been driven by a need to understand what health and care services people in Penwith need and how and where these services are best delivered.
“In January this year our community partners – including local people considered a long list of options in relation to the long-term future use of Edward Hain community hospital in St Ives based on the needs of the people in Penwith, but only 1 was agreed by the stakeholder group for full evaluation – to re-provide the 12 inpatient beds and to continue to provide community clinics in a fire safety compliant and refurbished Edward Hain hospital.
“An evaluation process and scoring criteria were developed with community stakeholders. A panel – made up of representatives of the local community alongside experts working across health and care – concluded the reopening of Edward Hain inpatient beds was unviable because the minimum scores for safety, financial affordability and financial sustainability were not met. The option also did not meet adequate levels of quality, access, workforce, deliverability, environment, finance and wider system/community impact criteria; scoring a total of 13 out of 84.”
The work with the people of Penwith was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and Government guidance around face to face meetings.
The outcome of the evaluation has today (Wednesday 19 August) been shared with the Edward Hain community stakeholder group involved in the co-production of the review work since the beginning.
Dr Walden added: “We have worked extremely hard to ensure this process has been inclusive, robust, detailed and transparent and I would like to thank the commitment of everyone involved in what has been an incredible amount of work to arrive at this point.”
No formal decision on the future of Edward Hain community hospital has been made. The October NHS Kernow’s Governing Body will now consider the co-production work that has taken place to review the future use of Edward Hain community hospital and the outcome of the evaluation, and determine the next steps. They will also take into account the very recent changes to how services are delivered, made in response to COVID-19. This has seen the majority of Edward Hain community hospital’s remaining outpatient clinics delivered remotely.
The CCG is committed to working with the local communities to build safe, sustainable communities and ensure a joined-up health and care system across Cornwall which is provided either in or as close to people’s homes as possible.