We have had a meeting with Sir James Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare Trust, and Claire Riley, Director of Communications, at which we discussed a number of issues about the future of the Whalton Unit.
It is clear that financial considerations are driving the review, which we feel is all the more reason why the public should be able to air their views about the welfare of elderly and frail patients who risk losing the privacy and dignity that a facility such as the Whalton Unit offers.
Sir James understands that people are concerned about the future of the unit, and agrees that it is important that communication channels are kept open.
He also agrees that this should be happening across both political and non-political groups.
To date, we have had no further replies to our emails to town councillors and as a result we are not sure what information, if any, has been shared. None has come to us.
If you have any questions about the future of the Whalton Unit that we can put to the NHS trust, we would be happy to do so on your behalf. Leave us a message on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1486477954830148/
Please feel free to sign the petition while you are there.
In other news, we met Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council and potential Labour candidate for North of Tyne Mayor, who was very supportive of the campaign.
There will be opportunities on Saturday to sign the petition in Morpeth town centre, and to collectively lobby your local councillors, so please look out for campaigners when doing your shopping, and sign if you support the campaign for transparency and consultation.
Barbara Ross, Chris Hall and Jan Clarke
Whalton Unit Campaign