Unit campaigners will again be present in centre of Morpeth

The Whalton Unit has been temporarily moved from Morpeth.
The Whalton Unit has been temporarily moved from Morpeth.

Campaigners were on the streets of Morpeth last Saturday and they now have in excess of 1,600 signatures asking for a full public consultation about the Whalton Unit.

They will again be present in the town centre tomorrow (Saturday) from 11.30am to 12.30pm with copies of the petition.

The 30 beds at the inpatient ward, which delivers specialist rehabilitation for frail older patients, temporarily moved from a facility in Morpeth to Ward 8 at Ashington’s Wansbeck General Hospital in December, with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust saying the decision was taken to ensure that staffing is as resilient as possible for winter.

A review of the long-term location of the ward is set to be completed by March.

A statement from the campaigners included the following: ‘We will also have copies of letters to local county councillors because we had so few responses from our town councillors – we emailed all 15, but only five have replied – asking them to confirm or deny their support for our request for a public consultation about the future of the Whalton Unit before irrevocable decisions about its future are made.

‘We would like to repeat that we are in no way questioning the competence or clinical excellence of NHS staff in Wansbeck, or anywhere else in the trust, and resent any implication to the contrary.

‘We are simply asking for the people who will be affected by the possible closure to be involved in the decision making process.’