I was not intending to post again on this Blog, but I feel I must bring this to the attention to LRA members.
I conducted the act of worship at Leach Ward this morning and talked with some of the patients afterwards. The patients are always very appreciative and I normally come home thankful that we have been of service to them.
But this morning I came home somewhat shocked and saddened. I heard from patients that the ward is to be closed by the end of this month; one of the nurses confirmed this. When I got home I looked on the Internet and found this article.
Staff and patients have been given precious little notice – presumably to minimize time for any opposition; but, understandably, they are worried. Not a nice Christmas present!
Whenever I have taken services there or taken communion to individual patients, I have always heard nothing but praise from patients at the way they are looked after in Leach Ward. I have always found a friendly atmosphere there and never ceased to be impressed at the dedication of the staff. This is something Leatherhead should truly be proud of.
I am aware that the Dorking & Leatherhead Advertiser article says health bosses deny the closure will be permanent; but as many of us know from experience, temporary closures have a nasty habit of becoming permanent in the end. In my opinion the short notice given to staff and patients in the run-up to Christmas is shabby. I hope the LRA takes up their cause and that readers will write to their councillors and MPs.