The Friends of the Edington
Hospital, North Berwick


On the 18th August there will be a Garden Party at the Edington Hospital between 1pm and 3pm.

There will be a Bouncy Castle, Face Painting, cake stall with teas and coffees and the Pipe Band will be in attendance.

All donations of cakes and sandwiches will be gratefully received.

Best from the East

Everyone will be aware of the impact of the Beast from the East on North Berwick and the huge impact that it had on the local community .No more so than Edington Hospital which faced major challenges in getting staff back and forward to the hospital and the availability of hot food for the patients as many of the local roads were completely blocked thus stopping the delivery of heated food trolleys. Up stepped local volunteers who not only ferried staff back and forward to work but local neighbours who cooked tirelessly for the patients over a prolonged period

At a Community Event in North Berwick on Friday 8th June the following volunteers were presented with Vouchers from the Friends for their contributions

They were:

Our thanks go to all these individuals.

Joint Board of East Lothian Consultation Document

Most people will be aware that the Integrated Joint Board of East Lothian has recently issued a consultation document which will have a major impact on the Edington Hospital as we know it. In the light of this, everyone is encouraged to comment at the address listed in the letter below. Murray Duncanson, Chairman of the Friends recently published this letter in the East Lothian Courier in a personal capacity but his comments were endorsed at the Friends' Management Committee meeting on Wednesday 30th May 2018. A full response to the consultation has yet to be finalised but will be published on this website.

As Chairman of the Friends of the Edington Hospital, I have drafted this letter in a personal capacity as we have not yet finalised our formal response to the proposals.

Whilst there are positive aspects to the document, the lack of detail does not encourage support. For example, the report proposes a review of the Minor Injuries Service. The sceptic might argue that this is an attempt to no longer provide this highly valued service in its current form and it remains unclear why this review cannot be completed within this consultation. If this facility did not exist, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Accident Emergency Department, would receive a further 2,000 patients per annum (based on current usage), at a time when they are already under huge pressure. Additionally individuals will be required to travel to Edinburgh, at a time of potential distress.

Secondly, throughout recent discussions, we have been enticed by the prospect of a new build within North Berwick which could include the Abbey, the Edington Hospital, the Minor Injuries service, the Health Centre, and possibly the GPs if they were supportive of the move. Additionally, having a Health Promotion and Befriending service based there would be real asset. This would present an exciting new development with real patient benefit by co locating and integrating health and social care provision. At the risk of speaking out of turn with the Friends, we would, I am sure be happy to support a capital appeal (rules permitting) although it is likely that day to day running costs will be more of a challenge. Whilst many accept that Edington Hospital building is not fit for purpose, one member of the Friends' Management Committee eloquently put it at the public meeting that residents of North Berwick and surrounding areas require guarantees that any new service needs to be as good, if not better, than the current provision. While I am sure the motivation of the Integrated Board Managers is sound, support has to be withheld until the following questions are answered. Will the current level of nine beds remain or will they be reduced? Will these NHS beds be free at the point of delivery or will they fall within some form of social care charging? How will the current recruitment difficulties for carers be addressed in an area of high cost housing? While the document promotes the concept of Extra Care Housing with health back up, will that be sufficient to support individuals with palliative conditions as illnesses deteriorate? What guarantees can be given that any such new integrated service will actually happen when there are no detailed costings and it is known that NHS Lothian, a key constituent partner has a financial shortfall of £34m merely to maintain the activity levels of 2017.

Finally, the maintenance of high quality care during any change process remains critical. The reason that over 300 people ( not the 150 reported by The Courier) attended the public meeting is that they strongly believe that the Edington Hospital provides a unique service combining a person centred approach from compassionate highly skilled nurses and support staff alongside excellent GPs who are located next door. This can be in contrast to very busy acute City hospitals.

It is also now vital that Community leaders and local politicians make their views known alongside members of the public. Comments should be sent to Jane Ogden Smith, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnerships, by 30June 2018

Yours faithfully

Murray Duncanson