Frenchay campaigners in fresh call for action over new community hospital

Published on: 04 Feb 2015

QUEUES at accident and emergency departments can only be reduced by building Frenchay Community Hospital, say campaigners.

They are calling on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to take action to stop delays to the promised provision.

A community hospital was promised as part of the overall programme to move services to the new Southmead Hospital, which opened last May.

A piece of land was set aside after the closure of the acute hospital at Frenchay. South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group now wants to create a health and social care centre on the site, which would include intermediate care beds.

But according to its latest timetable, the contract for the centre will not be provided until April 2016.

Yet this is also the date set for demolition of Elgar House at Southmead, where interim intermediate care beds are being provided.

Barbara Harris, of the Save Frenchay Community Hospital group, said the 800-bed new hospital at Southmead was not big enough. Up to a quarter of beds were occupied by “bed blockers” whose discharge from hospital was delayed because suitable provision was not available and problems at the new hospital were continuing.

She told South Gloucestershire public health and health scrutiny committee that the situation was a scandal.

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