Hospital campaigners grill health chiefs over Frenchay plans

Posted on Wednesday 23rd January 2013 at 4:44 pm by SH (Editor)

The Conservatives.

Frenchay Hospital campaigners grilled health bosses at a council meeting today (Wednesday 22nd January) about the latest uncertainty that hangs over a new community hospital.

Plans for Frenchay’s new community hospital – now known as a Health and Social Care Centre – were only agreed last year and envisaged a greater range of services than that proposed in the original Bristol Health Services Plan drawn up by the previous Labour government in 2005.

But a new review of services at Frenchay has recently been jointly launched by the NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust Cluster and local GP-led Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The review had been due to report in March 2013, but councillors were told at today’s meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s Public Health and Health Scrutiny Committee that they would have to wait longer before any decision would be made and no specific date was forthcoming.

Local MPs Jack Lopresti and Chris Skidmore met recently with the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, to raise their concerns over the hospital delay.

Speaking during the meeting, Cllr John Godwin (Con, Winterbourne), a former Chairman of the Save Frenchay Hospital Group who worked on the community hospital project group, said:

 “As a member of the Frenchay Hospital project group, we carefully gathered plenty of data on local health needs and future projections and so it’s unclear what has changed in such a short time in order to justify this latest review and all the uncertainty and local concern that it has caused.”

After the meeting, he added:

“It was disappointing to hear the inability of the local NHS to give us and the local community a clear date by which we will know what changes, if any, they plan to make to our planned new community hospital.”

“I fought hard as part of the Frenchay Hospital project group to secure the maximum possible health services to be provided at Frenchay and I¹m not about to stop now.”

Frenchay & Stoke Park Conservative councillor Trevor Jones added:

“My fear is that the local NHS is just going through the motions to try and thwart any legal challenge and – until they come clean – the conspiracy theories will keep circulating.”

“When we know that an extra £12.5 billion per year is being invested in the NHS by 2014 and when we know that there is a robust and comprehensive evidence base underpinning the Frenchay proposals, it beggars belief that we have yet more uncertainty over the delivery of what are long-standing promises to local people.”

More info: Agenda for today’s Committee meeting (SGC)

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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