sale of Poltair Hospital 2015

10th August


 This week we have learned that Poltair hospital and its site is on the market with offers invited from just £495.000. It is being advertised by a local estate agent on behalf of NHS Property Services, its current owner. This has prompted a swift reaction from members of West Cornwall HealthWatch. In a statement, the group says:

This is absolutely the wrong time and the wrong price tag for the sale of Poltair.  We have been told that the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, wishes the proceeds of NHS property sales to be retained locally (he gave as an example the nursing home on the Isles of Scilly). 
He has also said there would be changes to ownership with devolution - so that the proceeds of sales would be retained locally.

We also understand that Monitor has just announced an investigation into Community Health Services here in Cornwall.  This is to understand what action might need to be taken to “ensure patients continue to have access to essential community services”.

For both these reasons we strongly feel that the property should be removed from sale pending the outcome of Monitor’s investigation and the plans for devolution having greater clarity of purpose.  Only at that point the property should be marketed and sold, and only if it is clear there is no future local use for it and if the proceeds of sale can be retained here in Cornwall to help develop gold standard community services in Penwith. This community deserves nothing less; it is already feeling sore that the promised reinvestment of revenue savings from the closure of the twelve in-patient beds at the hospital has so far failed to materialise.  The loss of Poltair, our much valued and respected community hospital, has not yet proved to be a sacrifice worth making – to sell it for ‘peanuts’ would be a further insult. 

We feel it imperative that action is taken now to halt the sale at this time, and that we need to proclaim this from the rooftops.  Everyone will sleepwalk through it if we don’t, and will later wake up and wonder what on earth we have done with our assets.  We cannot give away the family silver and then allow the Treasury to pocket such a paltry sum for its disposal, particularly when we might yet need our family silver after all.