All Hallows: Suffolk trust closure 'will devastate patients'

Image source, Jaime Larter
Image caption,
Peter Leggett, 84, attends the All Hallows Hospital day centre five days a week

The closure of a cash-strapped hospital trust will devastate patients who rely on its services, families have said.

All Hallows Healthcare Trust in Suffolk faces closure as it can no longer balance the books.

Jaime Larter, whose father Peter Leggett, 84, uses its day care centre, said the closure would leave him feeling "like he's lost family".

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said it was likely the care would continue but from a different provider.

Image caption,
Jaime Larter says the closure will be a "big blow" to her father

Ms Larter said staff at the trust, which runs a 30-bed hospital and day care centre in Ditchingham, Norfolk, as well as a 50-bed nursing home in nearby Bungay, had "brought him out of himself".

"All Hallows, to my dad, is everything," she said.

"He's built up such a rapport with the people who work there.

"To lose those people out of his life, it's going to feel to him like he's lost family."

Care commissioners are now trying to find another company to run or replace the services All Hallows provides to more than 250 people every day.

The trust also employs 280 people, who face losing their jobs.

Image source,
Image caption,
All Hallows Hospital, pictured here in 1892, was founded by Lavinia Crosse

Mr Bacon said he was confident a solution would be found.

"The commissioners have a statutory responsibility to make sure that the people who are currently getting care from All Hallows continue to do so," he said.

"It's just that it's not going to be this current trust that's providing them."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Staff and patients of All Hallows Healthcare Trust are waiting for news on their futures

A petition to save All Hallows started has gathered more than 1,300 signatures within 24 hours, and there has been support on social media.

On Facebook, Sarah Clark said: "Absolutely devastating for the local elderly community, so many services that will affect people's lives."

Others shared memories of the care family members had received.

Image source,
Image caption,
This picture from around 1960 shows patients receiving care at All Hallows

The charitable trust said it had no option but to close as "reserves are running out".

It can trace its history to 1872, when Lavinia Crosse - known as Mother Lavinia - set up a hospital in a cottage in Ditchingham.

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