Elderly isolated after NHS closes Eastbourne lunch club

Eastbourne DGH District General Hospital. January 3rd 2013 E01014Q ENGSUS00120140201135032
Eastbourne DGH District General Hospital. January 3rd 2013 E01014Q ENGSUS00120140201135032

Elderly people in Eastbourne say they have been left isolated after NHS managers closed a weekly lunch club.

The All Saints Club, which met each week at Eastbourne DGH, has been closed since July as the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust review the service.

In a letter from NHS manager Amy Reilly, club members were told the club would be closed until September while a decision about its future was made.

The club has not reopened after September and members say they have had no further contact from the NHS Trust since June.

Club member Elizabeth Waite, 93, said, “I think it was very rude for them to send out a letter saying we would hear from them in September. Well September has been and gone and we’ve heard nothing from them.”

The closure comes after the departure of Geraldine Griffiths, who ran the club for many years.

“When she left she bought us all fountain pens and took us out to tea,” said Elizabeth. “Geraldine was more than just a great leader she was a really good friend to all of us.

“I expect we’ll get brushed under the carpet now.”

The drop-in club was partly-funded by members who paid for lunch each week and raised money with charitable events.

Elizabeth said, “We knit for the premature babies unit, we hold a raffle for charity every week, we pay for our own lunch

“It is very upsetting, because we have trouble getting about. We haven’t been able to get out to see each other.”

The NHS has not yet made an official decision on what will happen to the club.

A spokesman for the NHS trust said, “The All Saints Club, a twice a week social and luncheon club for a handful of ex-patients, was closed in June following the departure of the club’s organiser. We are currently undertaking a review with the possibility of this social club being held in a more appropriate setting somewhere in the community.”

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