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For most people their main concern with the hospital is to get the treatment they need as quickly as possible. Covid really pushed out waiting lists, however it is expected that the number of people on long waiting times will drop over the coming months. This is proving quite a challenge with the ever increasing local population and was not helped earlier in the year with an outbreak of diphtheria, caused by some not opting for vaccinations when offered. One can see part of that effort with for example the added flexibility such as consultants seeing patients for routine appointments at weekends.


One aspect at present that causes considerable comment is the conflicting appointment letters some people receive, caused by staff trying to juggle appointments around, with the system not able to catch up. The hospital management knows only too well the issue, but with finances so tight, there is no capital to develop the changes needed. It of course raises the much bigger issue of the way finances are run in the whole of NHS. The NHS as we all know is highly bureaucratic with top down accounting, with often little regard to placing the money where it is most needed. However, it is hoped that as more people book their appointments online some of the issues may then ease. This can be done with the hospital’s ‘patient hub’ which is linked to the NHS app. For more information see .


The current big news of course is Government confirmation that funding for a new hospital although delayed has been confirmed. Once the Trust has notification of what funds the Treasury are allocating, one of our local MP’s has indicated it is in the range of £700 to £900M, it can then refine the options which will then be put out to public consultation. It is hoped this might take place towards the end of the year. Healthcare worldwide is rapidly advancing, so we can only benefit from having a state of the art new hospital. At present two potential sites have been identified, the current hospital site and a new site adjacent to junction 7 of the M3 where it is hoped a Health hub would also be created along the lines of the science parks which have been so successful with many universities.

Complaining, the Options …

We all take our health for much of the time for granted until something goes wrong, it is then we need services such as the hospital, thus the chance to influence the development of the new hospital is of vital importance to all of us. So how can we complain later if we don’t get the right hospital if we do not participate in the public consultation. Whilst there will be some negative comments on the options, the Trust will really appreciate suggestions on how the options might be improved. It is however hoped that many more people engage in the consultation than the 268 people who participated in the recent governor elections which covered a population approaching 200,000!  The governors represent patient interests to the hospital management, so this is a vital role. Why not become a Trust member and get more up to date information and help play a part at this critical time? To register go to .

Keith Bunker
Former Hospital Governor

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