Better services announced for Rye Hospital

PATIENTS will be able to enjoy a wider range of services at Rye Memorial Hospital if plans announced this week go ahead.

They include an x-ray machine equipped diagnostic unit and a new day care centre.

Work is already under way on the first phase of a £6 million investment which will see 55 extra modern care homes built on the Rye Hill site.

The work involves providing 25 new units and a complete reconstruction of the existing 30 units.

Hospital chairman Barry Nealon said: “We are buying the ambulance station which will allow us to pursue potential projects such as a day care centre, perhaps in association with ARRCC, and a diagnostic centre.

“We had wanted a minor injuries centre on the site but that was ruled out as you need 12,000 patients a year using it to make it economically viable.

“We are still working on it but it is a tough one.”

Mr Nealon said discussions were taking place this week on future plans for the hospital.

They may include a new nursing home on the site of the ambulance station.

Mr Nealon said: “Nursing home facilities have been ear-marked as a priority by East Sussex County Council’s social services.

“We could possibly accommodate 40 people.

“We have the potential and we know the demand is there.

“There is lots of activity at the moment and lots of potential development. We are working very hard to provide services for the community.”

It was also mentioned that plans were being considered for a cafe on the hospital site.

The first phase of the new care units, on the old respite centre site, is due to be completed by June this year with the third phase completed by August 2015.

Mr Nealon said: “They are lovely units. To qualify for one of the homes you have to be local, you have to have care needs and it will be means-tested.”

It was announced this week that the hospital’s popular fund-raising Garden Party will be making a return on June 7.

One of the new units will be available for inspection on that day.

The hospital was built following a long local campaign which saw Sir Paul McCartney and the late Spike Milligan taking part in a march through the town.