Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust Board has approved the preferred option for a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean to replace the Dilke Memorial Hospital and Lydney and District Hospital. The Board also approved the criteria that will be used to consider a preferred location for the hospital, and agreed to commission an independent body to establish a panel which will include local people and professionals to make a recommendation on the location.
This decision follows a three month consultation undertaken jointly by the Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.
In making their decision the Board were mindful of the issues and concerns that had been raised through the consultation process. The Board concluded, however, that no new or material information had been presented that would suggest that the case for change should be reviewed. In coming to their decision, the Trust Board also approved a number of recommendations to address the issues that had been identified through the consultation, with a particular focus on ensuring that any new hospital would have the right number of beds to meet the needs of the local population and ensuring travel and access issues were fully considered.
Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Katie Norton said:
“The Board carefully considered all of the feedback received and issues raised from the consultation and are grateful for the time that local people have given to share their views. We know that there is more work to be done to provide assurance in a number of areas, and we hope that the recommendations we have agreed today demonstrate our commitment to getting this right. We are determined that this new, significant investment, which will be funded by the Trust, will bring real benefit for the Forest of Dean and remain fully committed to working with the local community to take this forward.
“The Board, and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, have been clear that no final decision has been made on the number of beds that will be provided in the new hospital. We have committed to undertake further analysis and to share this as we know this was a significant concern through the consultation.
“Our Board appreciates and acknowledges the debt of gratitude we owe to local residents, who have helped develop healthcare facilities and services in the Forest of Dean over many generations. The Board also appreciates the great affection held for two hospitals in the Forest which have and will continue to serve their communities until a new hospital is open. We do understand that many people may feel unhappy with this decision, however as a Board we concluded that we have to act now, recognising that it is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver the high quality services that our teams want to provide”.
26 January 2018