Hospital supporters’ plea to NHS bosses

AN IMPASSIONED plea has been sent to NHS bosses in the hope they will approve plans for a new hospital in Clevedon.

The League of Friends of Clevedon Hospital has written to NHS South of England chief executive, Sir Ian Carruthers, to highlight the importance of a local hospital facility to North Somerset residents.

This follows news that a decision on proposals for the new facility, planned for a site in Millcross, is due to be made by the South of England Strategic Healthy Authority (SHA) next month.

The SHA board is expected to apply rigorous tests to the hospital proposals to ensure the NHS can afford the scheme. If approved, it is hoped the building can be completed by 2014.

The letter, signed by league chairman Mary House, says: “It is vitally important the services now available to this area of North Somerset are able to continue in a new building.

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“The outpatient department is a lifeline to many. To be able to see a consultant, be x-rayed or receive treatment, all without having to make the journey to Bristol or elsewhere, is of considerable advantage for the well-being of the patient.”

Work on the new hospital was due to begin in December but was put on hold when NHS North Somerset was forced to change and resubmit its business case to the SHA.

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This was the result of changes being made to the NHS, in light of Government cuts, plus the success of community wards, which see more patients being treated at home.

Mrs House’ letter adds: “I know the first consideration is always financial and, of course we have to be able to afford it, but the main reason for all this deliberation should be for the needs of the people and their health care.

“We in Clevedon feel that to be able provide the facilities presently available is of prime importance and ask you and your committee to take this into consideration.”

The League of Friends of Clevedon Hospital has, in the past, spent thousands of pounds on new equipment for the town’s cottage hospital and hopes to be able to give considerable financial support to the new hospital in the near future.

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