Patients raise concern at Dorset CCG service reshuffle

A reorganisation of hospitals services in Dorset has this week been agreed that will see beds cut and an A&E closed, leading to considerable patient outrage.

Dorset CCG unveiled its recommendations for the area last week, which are targeting efficiencies that can take a chunk out of the £158m deficit expected by the organisation by 2021.

Protestors gathered at the Dorford Centre to protest the measures, which according to the BBC could see Poole Hospital lose its A&E, maternity and paediatric services to Bournemouth – which will becomes the main hospital in the area for planned treatment and operations.

Dorchester’s paediatric and maternity departments could also be at risk, as the CCG revealed that Dorset County Hospital should look for ways to share a consultant-led service with Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset.

But CCG leads remained positive about the changes. Tim Goodson, chief officer at the organisation, said the decisions offered a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in, and make changes to, services across the county.”

“Whilst we recognise that some people will not agree with them, we would like to reassure everyone that they were not taken lightly and are the result of hundreds of hours of work by local clinicians and members of the public,” he continued.

“We have taken into account a huge amount of feedback and I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to give their views on proposals during the public consultation.”

Debbie Fleming, chief executive of Poole Hospital NHS FT, argued that the organisation has “always supported the case for change” and was glad the “uncertainty is now over.”

“This decision means that there is an exciting and positive future for both the hospital site and for its services,” she added. “We now look forward to working with our partners to implement these plans with our partners, and in the meantime, continuing to provide safe, high quality care for our patients.”

Patricia Miller, chief executive of Dorset County Hospital NHS FT, added: “We are looking forward to building on the collaboration work with our partners in health and social care to ensure we can provide high quality emergency and district general hospital services for our patients now and into the future.

“The CSR outcome reflects and supports our drive to deliver outstanding care for people in ways which matter to them. It provides the foundation for a bright future for DCH, with some exciting developments on the horizon, including the new radiotherapy centre and integrated community services hub.”

Top Image: Saffron Blaze

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