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Hospice reconsiders Canterbury ward closure

PUBLIC meetings arranged by the Pilgrims Hospices in Margate and Ashford have been cancelled, as trustees reconsider plans to close the inpatient ward at Canterbury. The planned closure in 2016, which senior trustees and executives had described as “necessary”, has been heavily criticised, with hundreds of angry members of the public storming out of a meeting last month. Dr Richard Morey, chairman of the board of trustees, said:

“We are becoming painfully aware of how our incredibly loyal supporters feel about the Future Hospice Programme and we want them all to know that we are revisiting the proposed programme with a view to fmding solutions to the problems that we are currently facing.”

The hospice action group welcomed the news, but warned the fight was not yet over. Spokeswoman Abi Calder said:

“We are pleased they are reviewing the plans and they are taking into consideration the community’s feelings. But it is a shame they didn’t think about this in the first instance. Perhaps if they had communicated with the nursing staff and community effectively in the first place this could have been avoided.”

Trustee Sarah Andrews said:

“I was extremely concerned at the depth of public feeling I witnessed last Friday. As a result we are taking this matter very seriously indeed. We must listen to our supporting community and that is the right way forward.”

Herne Bay Times, June 11th 2014

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