Dear Friends and Supporters of Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital,
Thank you for looking at our website, I hope you have found the answer to your query.
As many of you may know the KCHFT are proposing changes for healthcare in this area. This will mean that the services (other than the in-patient beds) will move to a new site and the existing War Memorial Hospital closed.
An alternative site in Four Elms Road has been selected for a brand new state of the art Health and Wellbeing uniit. The new building will be on green belt land which will need special approval before development proposals can be granted. We are currently seeking this approval.
Further updates will be made available by KCHFT in due course and a follow up public meeting is to be held at the WI Hall hosted by Tom Tugendhat MP and commencing at 6.30pm.
If you wish to look at the results of the recent consultation process please click on this link:
Response Letter to members:
Recognising that the population of Edenbridge and the surrounding district are now part way through the Public consultation on Health Services for Edenbridge led by the Edenbridge Medical Practice, Kent Community Health Foundation Trust (who provide the services in our Hospital) and the West Kent CCG (who commission the Community Health services in our area), the Committee of the League of Friends of Edenbridge Hospital felt that it was important that we should express our own majority collective view on the proposals being made. It should be noted that not all members of the Committee support this view and we respect the alternative arguments.
Summary of the majority collective view of the Committee of the Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital League of Friends to the Public consultation on Health Services for Edenbridge
- We support option 1a – a combined Hospital/Surgery on a new site.
- Despite the issue of building on a green belt site, we support the suggestion of the new combined Hospital/Surgery being close to the current Town and amenities as well as planned and approved new housing. A site in Four Elms Rd close to The Eden Centre has been proposed and we would support this option.
- We want to see all existing out-patient and Day services retained with space allowed for expansion and development of future services as part of option 1a.
- We welcome the trend of caring for the elderly sick in their own homes and recognise the huge transport difficulties of supporting friends and family taken to Sevenoaks/ Maidstone or Pembury Hospitals. We support the possibility of using the present Hospital site for the provision of a Care Home/Nursing Home/ End of Life Care home.
- We recognise that the local community financed the building of the current Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital and would argue strongly that any sale proceeds should be retained by the Community and put towards the financing of the new Hospital/Surgery.
We recognise that:
- The population of Edenbridge is expanding, getting older and increasingly wish to be treated at home / closer to home for their less urgent illnesses/ medical conditions.
- The present premises of the GP practice have no capacity to satisfy this demand and, like other practices across the country is finding it increasingly difficult to attract GPs to work in the area.
- The Health care needs of our local population necessitate that the sick, elderly and those without transport make the long journey to Sevenoaks/ Maidstone/ Pembury for many Consultant and other specialist referrals.
- The treatment of elderly patients with on-going health needs may no longer need Hospital Care. Instead, the current treatment of elderly patients emphasises their need to stay at home, amongst their family and friends with Medical and Nursing specialists visiting them for treatment.
- Although a much-loved building, our current Hospital is in the main old and does not support the modern communication requirements of today’s Health Care. It also requires regular costly maintenance. The limitations of our current building would seriously restrict the provision of new and additional NHS clinics envisaged for our community.
- The low usage by residents of Edenbridge and surrounding villages of the14 in-patient beds at the Hospital does not support the very great cost of staffing the unit and indeed most patients sent to the unit come from outside the area.
- The increasing demands on the NHS budget require the local population to in effect choose between retaining the MIU, Out-patient department, Day Centre and X-ray OR the beds, but NOT both.
As a result, we have been advised that, should the Consultation indicate a preference for retaining the 14 in-patient beds, the affordability of maintaining such a small in-patient unit will become prohibitive within 5 years and the Hospital (along with the other services offered at the Hospital) will be closed.
This is of great concern to us and the reason why we feel that we should be supportive of option 1a
- This option retains, for the foreseeable future, the Out-Patient services of the Hospital which are used by a greater proportion of the local population. It will also enable us as a community to benefit from the new additional services that the CCG and KCHFT are keen to provide from this new centre.
- We understand that there is much local concern about the possibility of the actual building of The War Memorial Hospital in Edenbridge becoming redundant. Progress does sometimes demand this and we are convinced that we should not pass up the opportunity of expanding our current Out-patient and Day services in a new and bespoke building. The War Memorial itself will be moved and preserved in any new location.
- The loss of the inpatient beds would be most regrettable but we would urge the community to recognise the real possibility of a private provider offering to develop a new Nursing and End of Life Care unit on the old Hospital site for the local population, with the possibility of providing a few general in-patient beds for rental by the NHS. This happens elsewhere and there is no reason why Edenbridge should not benefit from this same arrangement.
- The current Hospital is no longer owned by your League of Friends. Ownership passed to the NHS on its creation in 1948. Although we cannot guarantee that the proceeds from the sale of The Edenbidge and District War Memorial Hospital site are transferred to the financing of the new Hospital/Surgery we would argue hard that this is the only fair way of retaining the Community’s investment in our local Health services.
We believe that option 1a gives a greater chance for the people of Edenbridge to continue to have many Health services provided locally (to the envy of other communities who only yearn for such a provision).
Option 1a will ensure that our Health provision becomes more adaptive to the changing needs and health treatments of today’s world.
Dr Andrew Russell President of the League of Friends Committee Edenbridge and District War Memorial
Jo Naismith Chair of the League of Friends Committee Edenbridge and District War Memorial
Paula Hardy Treasurer of the League of Friends Committee Edenbridge and District War Memorial
Date for your diary: The Hospital Summer Fete will be held this year on Saturday 3rd June from 2-4PM. Car Parking will be available in Blossoms Park as usual.
Edenbridge War Memorial Hospital, Mill Hill, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 5DA
Tel: 01732 862137