HOSPITALS could scrap end-of-life beds instead asking nursing homes to care for dying residents.

The clinical commissioning group is working with St Helena Hospice to consider if Tendring’s end-of-life beds could be accommodated in nursing homes.

The move is part of a huge shake up at Clacton and Harwich hospitals set to see run-down wards at Clacton bulldozed and replaced with a GP hub with the beds moving to Harwich.

But plans to remove palliative care from the hospitals has been criticised.

A Facebook page called Harwich nurses has published a post hitting out at the decision.

It said: “Whilst we are all for the expansion of services in our local hospital, these new plans mean the closure of inpatient wards at Clacton Hospital and the loss of all palliative and end-of-life beds in both Clacton and Harwich.

“The proposal is to provide end-of-life care in nursing homes.

“That means more pressure on hospice and community nurses, and less choice for dying patients.

“There are no nursing homes in Harwich.”

The post goes on to call for residents to take part in the consultation.

It adds: “Community hospitals should be there for all the community, not just those needing rehab.”

Harwich councillor Ivan Henderson raised concerns for patients needing palliative and end-of-life care.

He asked: “What discussions have they had with the hospice in moving these end-of-life beds and what consideration have they given this?

“It would mean Harwich would have no provision - at the moment the palliative care is provided in Harwich hospital.

“I don’t believe it’s right for these people who need more care and want to have that care near to their home and families.

“My mother had to go to Colchester as nowhere here could do the 24hour nursing care she required in Harwich.

“That’s a big issue if they won’t provide that in the local community at all.”

A spokesman for the CCG said: “Approximately eight community beds across Clacton and Harwich have been used for patients with end-of-life or palliative care needs as a short-term pilot.

“However, there is work with the CCG, St Helena Hospice and ACE to look at working with some nursing homes to provide this level of care, continuing to receive specialist input from the hospice and with end-of-life gold standard framework training provided to nursing home staff.

“While continuing to receive quality of care, there is opportunity for those patients to be cared for in a setting that is more like home for patients and their families.”