June 16th, 2016
New London Hospital Trustees have voted unanimously to begin the process of closing the William P. Clough Extended Care Center. This decision has come after a lengthy review over nearly two years of both current operations and a variety of alternative future operating scenarios, including potential partnerships with Dartmouth-Hitchcock and other entities. Dartmouth-Hitchcock leadership has been kept apprised throughout New London Hospital's process of deliberating the future of the Clough Center, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (the Hospital's parent company) has approved the New London Hospital Board's decision.
The Clough Center was established in 1971, with 58 beds licensed for both long-term care and skilled nursing. For decades it has been a valued service to elderly community members and their families, as well as to others for various rehabilitation needs. In recent years, however, the service has produced operating and other losses that amount to about $1 million annually. Such losses would be anticipated to continue indefinitely, perhaps even to increase.
Says Board Chair Susan Reeves, EdD, RN, "The Board of Trustees makes this decision reluctantly to better secure the future financial sustainability of New London Hospital. We recognize the important role the Clough Center has played in our communities. However, we can no longer afford the unavoidable large losses that are generated by a nursing home embedded within a hospital."
The facility is expected to remain open through September 30, 2016, but no more new residents will be admitted. Each of the current 31 residents of the Clough Center will be offered assistance with transition to appropriate alternative residences, based on their individual needs.
About 35 staff will be impacted by the Clough Center closing. Assisting them in finding new positions has begun, whether at New London Hospital, with affiliate Dartmouth-Hitchcock or elsewhere.
New London Hospital President and CEO Bruce P. King says, "This is a difficult decision for our organization, as we highly value both our Clough Center residents and the talented, dedicated staff who care for them. We are committed to making every effort to help those in both groups with transitions that will meet their personal needs going forward."
Assessment of possible future uses of the space occupied by the Clough Center will be part of master facility planning for New London Hospital that is to begin shortly.
Questions on the closing of the Clough Center may be directed to Bruce King, Dr. Steven Powell or Lori Underwood, all at 603-526-2911.