Did a Cranleigh man get the answers to the great nursing home debate?


Cranleigh Photographer Andy Webb who runs the Alternative Cranleigh Community Board – because the official Cranleigh Community Board didn’t like his questions – has met with the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust.

The Charity will shortly have its planning application heard by Waverley Planners. Although the charity’s name suggests otherwise, it intends to build a private nursing home – operated by HC-One on land once owned by villagers. Included will be 20 ‘community beds’  operated by the county council and the local health services for the people within its area of operation.

It will also include residential accommodation (28 flats) for any health workers in the region including cleaning staff. A block to be built by A2 Dominion a company who boasts one of the CVHT trustees as a director, with access off Knowle Lane. 

Did Mr Webb get the answers to the questions posed by the residents of Cranleigh and the “nearby” villages who donated their money to build a replacement hospital? 

Ten out of ten for trying Mr Webb – who we should point out is nothing to do with the Waverley Web.

Here’s his update written based on information with which he was provided by CVHT Trustees in blue italics. Our comments in red.

Good afternoon and a happy new year.
After my meeting with some of the trustees of CVHT here are some of the answers I got. Firstly they did say that they could have been more forthcoming with information. I have agreed to be a go-between for them to give me any updates or ask questions on your behalf.

The CVHT have been in receipt of £1.15m over 17 years which has been used up in legal fees, planning applications and admin. Most of the money raised actually went to the League Of Friends who have a kitty of £2.9m. Some of the people who donated money made cheques and gave cash directly to the League Of Friends. There was talk of a house being donated to the CVHT but I was told that it was actually left to the League Of Friends.

UNTRUE All the money raised during the fundraising campaign to replace Cranleigh’s old hospital was collected by CVHT and not the League of Friends. 

Residents had contributed to The L of F since the old hospital was established over 150 years ago, long before the CVHT charity was established. The money donated to the League has and will continue to be, completely separate according to one of its members who has contacted us at the WW.

We are told by the L of F that numerous attempts have been made by CVHT to trouser its funds, without success.

I think some thought that the 2 charities were linked but they are not.
We won’t be getting our old hospital back as the main objective of CVHT was to get the care beds back in Cranleigh.

Not true: The Charity was set up to replace the old hospital and day hospital. Erroneous information has been peddled by some, who shall be nameless, that facilities proposed in the old cottage hospital are linked to CVHT!

The CVHT has nothing to do with the hospital anymore.
Cranleigh Village Hospital does not belong to the trust The Village Hospital was in effect nationalised I believe in 1948 when the NHS was formed. So it became an NHS asset. There is more detail on the CVHT website.

The Day Hospital which adjoins the old hospital was built by public subscription through a fundraising campaign, according to press coverage.

The beds could not be reopened in the Village Hospital because the then Primary Care Trust would not support it clinically or financially. That position has been maintained by the CCG who replaced the PCT. They prefer the proposal to include the Community Beds in the Care Home as there is no capital cost to them and the Care Home operator provides the nursing staff. The only option was to find a care home that would allow them to have a share of community beds.

WHY? Because Surrey County Council has closed down homes including Cobgate’s here in Farnham and Longfields in Cranleigh – thereby reducing the number of available beds by hundreds. The county council will now flog off the Longfields site for housing development, as they are proposing here in Farnham. 

If the NHS or SCC cut the funding CVHT will have to fund the shortfall. The beds will be open to the Waverley area as the old hospital beds were to a certain extent.

UNTRUE. The beds in the old hospital, according to a former nurse who has written to us, were seldom used by anyone other than residents of Cranleigh and the nearby villages. They were not for the wider Waverley community!
There will be facilities for long-term care for dementia and life-limited patients. The land that the care home will be built on will remain the property of the trust. The staff block will be for care worker/NHS staff including cleaners and porters etc. I think they will have to be recommended for accommodation by their employers.

So Cranleigh people through its parish council hand over a valuable piece of land in the centre of the town for £1 to enable a private developer to build a nursing home and homes for patients & health workers from around the area? When there are empty beds in Cranleigh nursing homes? Will this include health workers from other private nursing homes in and around the area?
The rent will be an estimated £550 per month including bills. The money from this will go directly to the trust. If after 5 years the NHS/SCC decide they will pull the funding, the trust has the option to lease the beds out.

To whom? Surely not to the private nursing home?
The X-Ray machine is being installed at the moment and should be up and running by Easter. Regarding the MRI scanner, they (L Of F) is looking at ways of funding that.

Surely not from another local fund-raising campaign?

Haven’t Cranleigh people been shafted enough already? They were promised a replacement Community Hospital, and a  Day Hospital with facilities to hopefully include minor injuries – weren’t they?
Robin Fawkner Corbett did say that the Village Hospital beds were never strictly for just Cranleigh residents if there was someone from outside the area that needed a bed they would give it to them.

So perhaps this should have been made clear to all the people who donated funds. Is Dr Fawkner Corbett going to police who occupies the beds now and in the years ahead? And exactly what does “out of the area” mean?

I asked who will be the doctors for the new care home? The care home can choose any local medical practice, Cranleigh School now uses the doctors at Shere for its pupils!!!

Ah! So if the Cranleigh practice doesn’t want to trouser a contract with the Private Nursing Home, the Shere practice, or maybe Farnham’s or Haslemere’s or Uncle Tom Cobblers, can,  and will, admit their patients?

Mr Webb ends with…
So, all in all, I got some answers but we will never get our hospital back as it was. I came out feeling a bit more positive but it needs looking into a bit more.
I am going to contact the NHS to see if there is any possibility of having a minor injury clinic in Cranleigh medical practice. They already have a paramedic but we need more than that.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me and I will try and get an answer for you. This doesn’t stop here, we still need more answers and more facilities either at the hospital or in the medical practice.
Thank you for your support.

So who dares wins here? Surrey County Council which closes its nursing homes with 150+ beds sells off the sites,   bags 20 beds paid for by the people over there in the East of the borough to benefit the rest of Waverley?

Who is the biggest loser? Cranleigh Parish Council and the people of Cranleigh and around. Who may never trust a charity ever again?

Thank you to all those who contacted us – and keep it up. You can reach us in confidence at contact@waverleyweb.org



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