Hospital won't close but no guarantees on possible service changes - The Evesham Observer

Hospital won't close but no guarantees on possible service changes

Rob George 10th May, 2018   0

COUNTY health chiefs have confirmed Evesham Community Hospital is not at risk of closure but failed to guarantee changes won’t be made to the services provided at the Waterside site.

In response to concerns raised in the town by concerned campaigners, health chiefs released a detailed statement which spelt out Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s vision for the future of the hospital to reassure patients, staff and Evesham residents.

The hospital has been the source of debate in recent months with services such as the breast clinic being removed, leading to health campaigners protesting earlier this year.

Eye clinic services were axed last summer due to a lack of doctors to run the service safely, meaning patients now have to travel to Worcester or Tewkesbury for treatment.

But health chiefs said the trust was proud of the Waterside hospital and the passion and interest shown by the wider community was ‘testimony to the esteem in which the hospital and its staff are held’.

“Evesham Community Hospital is an important part of our future strategy. It is not at risk of closure, we have invested in the site and have plans to do more, and while we can’t guarantee there won’t be changes to the services it is home to, we do share the community’s wish for a thriving and wellutilised local community hospital in the town,” the statement read.

Stroke rehabilitation beds from across the county were centralised at the hospital last year and has led to a reduction in time spent on wards, according to the trust

County health chiefs recently secured £90,000 to examine the future options for the hospital and the trust revealed the chance to improve the hospital on its current site would be seriously considered.

“Safe staffing is key to maintaining safe services. If we can’t safely staff services then we can’t run them as we won’t compromise the safety of patients,” the statement read.

“It is essential we promote all our local services, including the Community Hospital, as great places to work so we can keep our current staff and recruit new ones. This is key to sustaining local services.

“While we respect and welcome the interest, scrutiny and engagement of local people and groups, we are concerned continual speculation about the future of the hospital, despite ongoing reassurance to the contrary, will actually deter people from wanting to work here.

“We can’t provide every local service and clinic in everyone’s local area, but we are committed to providing a broad range of services from the hospital and want to work together with the wider community to ensure that its future remains rosy, so future generations can benefit from the outstanding care which has served the town so well for many years.”

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