Tonbridge Cottage Hospital

Here is the Chairman’s Annual Report for the year 1/7/2017 to 30/6/2018:

“One of the main aims of the League of Friends is to raise money for Tonbridge Cottage Hospital and the surrounding community. We continue to have the support of the Philomel Singers and the TCH Cottage Club.

The Cottage Club, managed by Jill Goldsworthy, provides a monthly prize of £100 and donates its profits to the LOF, though the membership is declining.   We are very grateful for their generous support. There are occasional donations, though our main source of income lately has been legacies. However, legacies are an unpredictable form of income for a charity but very beneficial when received and dwarf sums raised from other sources.  The LOF had a stall at the Tonbridge Rotary Christmas Festival. This both provided income and publicity. Edna Medhurst and Susan Greenhalgh provided much needed support.

The League of Friends provides funds for both arms of the hospital and for the local community. The therapy unit was provided with new bedside chairs. The LOF partly funded a Bariatric Wheelchair. The other funding came from the Hadlow Craft Club. We purchased a camera for wound care. Six new fans were provided for the hospital which no doubt came in use this summer. We refurbished the day room on Goldsmid Ward and the therapy unit’s Conservatory. A blind was purchased for the Conservatory. Also, we refurbished the two staff rooms and started to fund the staff’s tea/coffee and milk.

We helped the Day Room with items for use by the patients and a TV. The TVs on all the wards are repaired when requested and new headsets provided. We arranged and funded a new Hospital Admission Book. John Ashelford arranged for the two summerhouses to be reconditioned and a raised garden planter was purchased.  There are unsung ways we support the hospital, be it a hot-drinks vending machine, supply of newspapers, flowers in the dayroom, a trolley service and Christmas gifts for staff and patients.

We have to thank Pauline Warren and Andrew Wheeler, and two of our Committee Members, Jean Millman and Daphne Males, who help in the hospital. Daphne Males has produced for patients and relatives a new Patient Information Leaflet about the TCHLOF. As well as supporting the Hospital, we support other local NHS services and staff. We provided the Complex care nursing staff with a Portable ECG machine. While the community nursing staff based in Paddock Wood were provided with a fridge.

John Ashelford has kindly produced a Funding Policy for purchasing items and equipment for the NHS and a Reserves Policy which is appropriate for a charity with large reserves. They have yet to be approved by the LOF Committee. The LOGO has been redesigned. The website has been hacked again but has been in a ‘normal’ state for many months now. We are grateful for Chris Parker for keeping it up to date and our thanks are also due to Kevin Burgess and his wife for helping us.

The hospital is divided into two units managed by Kent Community Health Foundation Trust. Friederike Stenning, a physiotherapist, started as the clinical lead for the hospital and managed Primrose and Somerhill Wards. This changed mid-year, with Victoria Mellors, a nurse, becoming the lead for Goldsmid Ward. She works part-time.  The therapy unit tries to only admit patients who are self-caring with no registered nurses or doctor input. However, during the year nurses were needed over the winter months as some of the patients were not totally self- caring. It is now able to admit up to 12 patients, however the unit closed for a time over the Christmas/ New Year.

The recommendation of West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group was for the whole hospital to be a therapy led service, as a ‘Trial of Proof.’ They did one review in 2017 and another is being done this year. However, the therapy led service is not involved with Goldsmid Ward.  There is a persistent difficulty in recruiting staff for the hospital and there is a difficulty in admitting the right category of patients to the therapy unit. The secretary on Goldsmid Ward has left and been replaced by Svetlana Chib. The Out of Hours service is leaving TCH soon to Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.

The West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group has postponed its publication of its review of Community Hospitals. The renewal of the lease in September 2020 is interconnected with this review. The CCG is considering other sites in the local area and it is proposed that, in future, community hospitals should have at least 50 beds to be economic. The NHS is in one of its recurrent reorganisations at present, which may have affected the Community Hospital’s review. To promote better working between CCGs and Social Services, Glenn Douglas has become the Accountable Officer for all Clinical Commissioning Groups in Kent and Medwayand he is CEO of Kent & Medway Heath and Social Care Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, while Ian Ayres is Managing Director of all CCGs in the west of Kent.”

— Dr David Goodridge, Chairman of the League of Friends of Tonbridge Cottage Hospital.

Please click on the links below for the Agenda and minutes of last year’s AGM.

TCH LOG AGM 8.9.17 Minutes FINAL

Agenda for AGM September 2018

18.08.24 LoFTCH Accounts 30.6.18