The Cirencester Hospital Development Plan was agreed by the CCG Governing Body at their meeting on 28 May 2015.

Mary Hutton, Accountable Officer at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“The CCG, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and South Cotswolds GP Locality Executive Group want to ensure that Cirencester Hospital has a vibrant, vital and sustainable future providing local services for local people at the heart of the community it serves.

A Cirencester Hospital working group, with representatives from across the NHS has been working together to understand the health needs of people living in the South Cotswolds and to plan for future developments in local services, reflecting the changing needs of the population.

We have shared our plans with key stakeholders in the local area including the Hospital’s League of Friends, who have given us their support.

We are keen to take every opportunity to improve and develop the services at Cirencester Hospital. We are sowing the first seeds of innovative new services at the hospital – this is just the start of the plans that we have to ensure that Cirencester Hospital remains a vital and central element to local health care delivery.

Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust are in the process of refurbishing one of the wards in the Hospital, which includes plans for a dedicated *ambulatory care unit, with its own beds so that we can do more for patients as day cases within the community rather than travelling. We have also established a ‘Healthy Marketplace,’ where NHS, council staff, the voluntary and community sector can provide advice and support to patients.

The Locality GP Executive is keen to see patients looked after closer to their family and friends in their own community. To aid this, a specialist rehabilitation facility is being developed so that patients can be discharged earlier from Swindon, Cheltenham and Gloucester hospitals to their local hospital in Cirencester.

We are committed to ensuring day surgery services are available at Cirencester Hospital when the existing contract with Care UK comes to an end in October 2015. The local GPs and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust are keen for these services to be provided by known local specialists and fully joined up with other NHS services for the benefit of patients.

We are also exploring how we can work more closely with local GP practices and local voluntary and community services. For example, social prescribing, delivered through the District Council, helps people who don’t necessarily have a clear medical need by linking them to support from a range of community support services and organisations.”

Chair of the South Cotswolds GP Locality Executive Group, Dr Alan Gwynn said:

“We love Cirencester hospital and will do anything to protect it. However, we do understand that as healthcare develops and population needs change, the services at the hospital have to change as well to ensure its future vibrancy and sustainability”.

“We want to make sure that Cirencester Hospital maintains its central role within the locality as our community hospital, not just a hospital that happens to be in our community”.

These developments will provide more ways for more patients, where appropriate, to be diagnosed and treated at Cirencester Hospital rather than at the main hospitals in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon.

We want to build on these plans for the Hospital and when considering how and where services are provided in the future we should be asking, ‘why not Cirencester Hospital?’

The local GPs do not want to see patients driving past Cirencester Hospital to go to an appointment elsewhere if it can be appropriately delivered at Cirencester Hospital instead.”

Mary Hutton explained the changes to medical cover at the Hospital:

“Having established through several external reviews that the range of patients and their level of need at Cirencester Hospital does not differ from the six other community hospitals in Gloucestershire, it has been agreed to bring the medical staffing in line with the rest of the county.

As a result, the number of highly qualified minor injury and illness unit Emergency Nurse Practitioners will be increased to provide care and treatment for patients using this service. These arrangements have worked very successfully in other hospitals in the county.

The CCG and the South Cotswolds Locality GP Executive have made it clear that this change will only be implemented once they are assured that full staffing arrangements are in place.

Specialty doctors will continue to provide in-hours cover to the wards (Monday to Friday). They are also going to work additional hours on a Saturday and Sundays. The local GP out of hours service will provide cover at all other times as it does at all of the other community hospitals in the county.

The changes to medical cover will result in a saving of £366,000 and it has been agreed that this money will be reinvested into local services. The local GPs have several innovative and genuinely exciting ideas to use the savings for the benefit of the community.”