CAMPAIGNERS for a community hospital at Frenchay have called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to intervene.

They say that health officials have not provided local councillors with the information they need to review the changes and proposed changes to hospital provision in the area.

The Save Frenchay Hospital group is continuing to press for a 68-bed community hospital, which was originally promised ten years ago as part of the decision to shut Frenchay and transfer acute services to Southmead.

In January, the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), which advises the Secretary of State on contentious issues, ruled out a full review of South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)’s plans to bring in an external provider to run a “health and social care centre” providing NHS rehabilitation beds.

But the panel said further work was needed before a final decision was made. It called on the CCG to work with North Bristol NHS Trust and South Gloucestershire Council and seek advice from experts to address concerns about provision of diagnostic and outpatient services and the number of rehabilitation beds needed for the growing population.

Last month, the group said the information needed had still not been forthcoming, meaning that the council’s public health and health scrutiny committee was not able to carry out its scrutiny oblicgations.

“We have no alternative but to expect the Secretary of State to call this matter in for is determination in order to resolve the issue,” the group said.

Barbara Harris, who lives in Downend, a prominent campaigner for the community hospital throughout the last decade, said the reduction in the number of acute beds at the new Southmead Hospital, which opened in May, was predicated on there being a 68-bed community hospital at Frenchay.

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