THE future of the Halstead Hospital could be secured after the town’s MP revealed it is set to reopen a ward this week.

Braintree MP James Cleverly took to social media to make the announcement the ward at Halstead Hospital would reopen on December 1.

It comes amid fears for the future of the hospital after its ward was closed by health bosses in March 2020.

The beginning of the pandemic saw facilities transferred to Braintree Community Hospital and later the introduction of ‘virtual wards’ by Provide, which runs the hospital, in March 2021.

The ward, which supports those needing rehabilitation after surgery or a decline in their conditions, instead saw patients sent straight home from the secondary care hospital.

The move sparked concerns from the Halstead Hospital League of Friends who feared for the hospital’s future.

Mr Cleverly also vowed to do what he could to save the hospital.

The MP kept in contact with Provide and the Halstead Hospital League of Friends to “seek assurances” over the hospital's future and raised the issue with the Department for Health and Social Care and clinical commissioning groups.

Provide told the MP using 'virtual' wards and rehabilitating more patients at home had been a success.

However, after nearly three years, the ward will reopen, although initially only until March 31 next year.

Mr Cleverly said: “Earlier in the year, I met with the League of Friends of Halstead hospital and subsequently Provide, regarding the concerns raised to me about the future of Halstead Community Hospital.

“I am delighted to have been updated by Provide that as a result of winter planning across Mid and South Essex, the ward at Halstead Community Hospital will be reopening from December 1, 2022.

“The ward is being opened for those people requiring rehabilitation following surgery or a decline in their condition.

“The opening of the ward will initially be for the period up to and including March 31, 2023.

“I will of course continue to meet with and speak to Provide regarding the ongoing use of this important asset.”