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Partnership offers clergy healthcare

19 October 2012

by a staff reporter

From the lawn: Burrswood Christian Hospital

From the lawn: Burrswood Christian Hospital

THE charity St Luke's Healthcare for the Clergy is to offer hospital care once again, for the first time since the forced sale of its hospital.

It has formed a partnership with Burrswood Christian Hospital in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to provide post-operative care for the clergy, for up to ten days. It is also looking at buying into the hospital's psychological care service.

The trustees of St Luke's were forced to sell its hospital in 2009, owing to a fall in donations and the impact of the financial crisis. After the £7-million sale, the charity was left with just £600,000 in assets.

It later relaunched itself with the aim of continuing to provide access for the clergy to its honorary consultants, but with a new pledge to improve access for the clergy to mental-health professionals, to help them with stress-relief.

Since the loss of its hospital, St Luke's has continued to offer appointments with its honorary consultants, and more than 100 appointments have been made since March.

The executive director of St Luke's, Neil Stevenson, said that the partnership with Burrswood was a "very positive step forward".

"Historically, St Luke's provided post-operative care, and it will be wonderful to be able to do this again, as well as taking advantage of all the other things Burrswood can offer."

Burrswood is a 40-bed non- surgical hospital, with more than 100 acres of grounds.

Mr Stevenson said that the partnership had been formed to "try to meet the needs of our patients".

"We are getting back to what we are all about - care for clergy," he said.

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