Local people are being invited to have their say on proposals that will make Ashby community health services fit for the future.
A public consultation launched on Thursday 6 February 2014 for nine weeks asking people to give their feedback on two options on the future of services available from Ashby and District Hospital.
The consultation is being run by West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (WL CCG), which plans and purchases local healthcare, and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), which provides the community health services in the county.
The Leicester Road hospital site is in need of major repair and is currently underused as many local people travel to Burton for their hospital treatment.
Public health figures estimate that the population aged 65 and over will increase from 62,000 (in 2011) to 82,000 by 2021. Older people generally need more healthcare and NHS managers fear the hospital does not have the capacity to cope with the increased demand. Instead, the option of closing the hospital would see budgets which would have been earmarked to repair the hospital, used to fund extra nurses and invested in providing more services using different ways to care for local people in their own homes.
The option of keeping the hospital open would see services remain the same, with some additional outpatient clinics added. Between £500,000 and £900,000 would need to be invested in essential repairs and the 16 inpatient beds would be better used.
Dr Nick Willmott, GP Clinical Lead for West Leicestershire Commissioning Group said: “The Victorian building is loved by local people and staff alike, and we know that asking them to consider options which include closing the hospital is difficult. This consultation is not about making cuts and saving money. It is about providing the right care, in the right place, when people need it, while making sure the money available does all of those things as effectively as possible. The option we finally choose will not be because it is the cheapest, but because it is the best one for our patients for the future”.
Peter Miller, Chief Executive of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust said: “We would like people to read the document carefully, contact us if they have any questions or attend one of the public events. Once they have all of the information they need, we’re asking people fill out the consultation questionnaire and tell us what they think of the options. Only once the consultation closes on Sunday 6 April 2014, our two organisations will make a decision about the future of Ashby and District Hospital.”
The public events are being held:
- 5 March 2014, 2.30pm – 4pm, The Royal Hotel, Station Road, Ashby-De-La-Zouch, Leicestershire, LE65 2GP (registration and refreshments from 2pm)
- 5 March 2014, 6.30pm – 8pm, The Royal Hotel, Station Road, Ashby-De-La-Zouch, Leicestershire, LE65 2GP (registration and refreshments from 6pm
The consultation document is available to download from http://www.westleicestershireccg.nhs.uk/consultation-hub or a hard copy can be posted by contacting us, please call 0116 295 4183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org