SHEPTON MALLET – SAVE OUR HOSPITAL BEDS
This petition had 3,150 supporters
On behalf of the League of Friends of Shepton Mallet Community Hospital and the Save Our Hospital Beds Group, we are launching this Petition to reverse the recent announcement by Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – made without any prior consultation with staff, local GPs or the public – that all the remaining beds in the Hospital will be closed at the end of October. The Trust has said that: “We cannot envisage the inpatient beds reopening before the end of March 2018”. We feel strongly that Shepton Mallet has been treated as a "poor relation" for many years where healthcare is concerned and, coming on top of the premature closing of half the beds last January, this is the latest example.
The staff of the Hospital, some of whom have given loyal service there for over 20 years, are much-respected and appreciated by the League and by the families, carers and friends of past and present inpatients. They have now all been told, with only three weeks’ notice, that they will be redeployed to other community hospitals in Somerset, with all the disruption that will cause. We accept that there is an acute shortage of registered nurses in the county, but this is not the case in Shepton, where staffing levels are amongst the highest in Somerset.
The very name “Community Hospital” implies that the hospital exists to serve the local community. This will no longer be the case here, although we are relived that the excellent Minor Injuries Unit and various outpatient services will remain in Shepton. Families and friends wishing to visit bed-bound patients, however, would have to travel to who-knows-where, with all the problems of infrequent bus services if they have no car.
We will also seek a definitive guarantee from the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group that the long-overdue redevelopment of the site to create the promised Shepton Mallet Health Campus, incorporating both the Community Hospital and the excellent Shepton Mallet Treatment Centre, will proceed as planned as soon as capital funding is available.
PUBLIC MEETING: We urge all citizens of Shepton Mallet and the surrounding villages to sign our Petition and to attend a Public Meeting at 7.30pm on Friday 20th October in Mendip Council Chamber (the SHAPE office complex opposite the Cenotaph). Let us stop this nonsense now and SAVE OUR HOSPITAL BEDS.
Major General Ray Pett, President, the League of Friends of Shepton Mallet Community Hospital and Chairman, the Save Our Hospital Beds Group & Albert Owen, Chairman, the League of Friends of Shepton Mallet Community Hospital.
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