The latest closure at Bridlington Hospital is ‘the biggest blow’ so far, according to a prominent campaigner.
The Macmillan Wolds Unit, which cared for terminally ill patients in their final days, shut for the final time last Wednesday afternoon.
Jean Wormwell MBE, chair of Bridlington Health Forum and secretary of Pensioners Action Group East Riding, said she was worried about a lack of future plans for the building, which now has less than 70 beds available, compared to 220 when it opened 30 years ago.
She said: “We are very concerned about the fact that there is no idea what they are going to do with the unit. It’s very worrying.
“We now have only three of the eight wards being used. There doesn’t seem to be any plan to use it because there isn’t the money there. We have had no update on what is going to happen at Bridlington Hospital and it is getting beyond a joke.
“They have known for a long time this ward was going to close and there are no plans to put other services in there.”
She urged the community to make their feelings known more strongly.
“We are all very concerned and feel if the town doesn’t start to make its feelings known, it will keep happening,” Mrs Wormwell added. “People need to make more of a fuss about it.
“We get people to write letters and they are just ignored. People are so upset about it. Nobody takes any notice, that’s the conclusion people have come to.
“I feel they hid the closure of the Macmillan Unit behind the opening of the new Urgent Treatment Centre.
“We should be told properly what is happening, even if it is bad news.
“Keeping quiet just leads to rumours.
“I wonder if the hospital will go private. I honestly don’t know but I am getting very disillusioned.”
Mrs Wormwell also raised concerned about what will happen to equipment bought for the ward through donations by the Bridlington community.
“We don’t want to see it disappear to Beverley,” she said. “The equipment was bought for the people of Bridlington.
“I feel sorry for the Friends of Bridlington Hospital. They collected money to buy the equipment and they don’t want it taken elsewhere.”
She said she hoped to arrange a meeting between the Friends group and managers from the East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
“Everybody knows somebody who was treated on that ward,” Mrs Wormwell added.