I have just seen the Hastings Achievers Awards for 2012 and the photo showing the grim faces of last year’s recipients. No wonder, as the staff remaining at the time already knew our days were numbered, and faced an uncertain future. I worked at St Anne’s Day Hospital for 28 years until retirement last March,when the day hospital was decommissioned that is no longer funded by the commissioners who held the purse strings. On November 15 1984 you published a glowing article on the opening of this unique service for the elderly who suffered from a whole range of mental health issues. Then you called it ‘a heartening example of vision and flexibility in our health district’.
Then we aspired to a higher motivation that is of putting patients’ needs first, but within the constraints of cost, and again in view of the enormous returns for so little financial outlay, well worth the exercise.
We were guided by a more ethical code, not driven by expediency and price, and our masters then subscribed to that ideal. Latterly the service had to run as a business. Now that most are past their most productive period in their lives in terms of creating wealth, this appears to have become the standard by which they are measured, and in the current amoral view that people have to be equated to their cost effectiveness, the elderly are no longer classified as deserving of the countries scant resources, despite the fact it is not the older generation that has squandered it by greed.
It would seem that Sussex Partnership has been put in the invidious position of wanting to provide this worthwhile service, but not being provided with the necessary funds to do so, despite the fact that St Anne’s Day Hospital has never in it’s history been over spent, and currently is £30,000 in credit. Ironic you should choose St Anne’s Day Hospital as it no longer exists.