Campaign for New-build Edward Hain Hospital

Posted on: 1st December 2020

The Government may have succeeded in its plan to close Edward Hain Hospital (EHH). But we are determined to ensure it is replaced with a new, bigger and even better purpose-built community hospital and that it shall be named The Edward Hain Memorial Hospital – to reflect and respect the important generous legacy and sacrifice on which it is founded and to acknowledge the strong link with the town and people of St Ives.

We note the view of health managers that the old building is not best suited for inpatient beds and the range of diagnostic and reablement services necessary for it to function effectively. But we dispute the implied conclusion that intermediate inpatient NHS beds and facilities are not needed in this district of west Cornwall. We believe the area needs and deserves a community hospital which is well integrated with the acute and primary care sectors of the NHS.

The proposal

Our proposal is:
• A new-build purpose-built NHS Edward Hain Hospital with
• 20+ inpatient beds and nurse-led workforce to provide safe staffing at this level
• Full range of diagnostic services commensurate with a community hospital
• Reablement services including Physio and OT services
• 24 hour Medical doctor cover
Not to do this will leave our communities with significant and unacceptable uncertainty and a gulf in services between the acute hospitals (RCHT) and isolated patients struggling in an out-of-sight out-of-mind patchwork of services at home and which are too often insufficient, understaffed and overstretched.
The campaign does not presume to determine at this stage where such a new purpose-built hospital should be located. We recommend that all options are kept open at this stage. This therefore means that the NHS should NOT undertake a hasty sale of the existing EHH site unless and until that option is dismissed as an option. It also calls on the NHS NOT to dispose of any property assets in the west, especially at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance and at St Michael’s, Hayle unless and until those sites have likewise been discounted.


The inpatient beds at Edward Hain Community Hospital in St Ives, were suddenly “temporarily” closed in February 2016. We were told by managers that the 100-year-old building could not be evacuated safely if a fire broke out. Those beds have remain ‘temporarily’ closed ever since. NHS Kernow and the Foundation Trust responsible for the hospital will today (1st December 2020) complete all of their procedures leading to the decision to formally close the Hospital (at the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Board), handing it over to NHS Property Services, the building’s owner, to be put on the market to the highest bidder. Many local people, led by the Friends of Edward Hain Hospital, understandably want the site retained for community use, even if a replacement hospital on site proves not to be an option. We also support that campaign.


We call on the Government to allocate a portion of the funds it promised Cornwall in the lead-up to last year’s General Election for the building of new hospital services in Cornwall.
We will seek the formal support of Cornwall Council and local health services. We know there is backing from those working in the NHS as well as the wider community. Former local GPs and nurses back the campaign.


We are and will be consulting local organisations including the Edward Hain Hospital League of Friends, the local health community, local authority and local voluntary and community sectors and the Hain family.

Recently retired local GP, Dr Colin Philip, who is the previous Chair of the body which has today closed the hospital, the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The decision to finally close the Edward Hain Hospital in St Ives is sad but understandable due to the constraints of the building.

“However, the need for the care that the Hospital provided over many years remains. Many patients still require a level of medical and nursing care that cannot be provided at home or in a Nursing Home, and that is inappropriate for an Acute Hospital.

“Replacing those beds, lost from the Edward Hain, with a modern facility providing high quality 24 hour medical and nursing care in the local area is now needed.”


The Campaign for a New Edward Hain Hospital can be contacted through either:

Andrew George or
Cllr Andrew Mitchell

December 1st 2020