by Paul Hodgkinson on 29 July, 2013
A decision to close Cheltenham’s A&E unit to emergency cases overnight has led to dismay in the Cotswolds.
At a meeting held last week at the NHS Foundation Trust in Brockworth, the clinical commissioning group governing body voted to restrict the hospital’s A&E admissions between the hours of 8pm and 8am. From August, patients with a critical illness who need treatment from emergency medicine doctors will need to go to Gloucester Royal Hospital.
The proposals were consulted on between February and May this year. However, few people locally have been aware of this.
Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, CDC Lib Dem Leader spoke after the decision was made, “I’m dismayed by the decision. How many Cotswolds residents were aware of this proposal? I was only made aware recently and it will impact in a big way on the Cotswolds – particularly to the north, east and south east of Cheltenham. “
“The proposal may lead to higher mortality rates – a study undertaken previously stated that mortality rates rise by 1% for every extra 10kms travelled.”
“There may be increased waiting times at Gloucester Hospital.”
“For a large chunk of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham hospital is the nearest and most direct place to go to for emergency treatment. This decision was made by unelected people in the face of opposition from the Cheltenham MP and thousands of residents.”
“24/7 A&E facilities are vital for the areas surrounding Cheltenham.”