“Following careful review, consideration and discussion, the CCG and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (GCS) at their meetings on 25 January, 2018, unanimously approved the preferred option of a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean to replace Dilke Memorial Hospital and Lydney and District Hospital.

We strongly believe that this offers a number of benefits to local patients – whether that’s improved clinical space to support services, overcoming the challenges of maintaining some essential services across two sites or providing a great care environment for patients and staff.

We recognise the importance of travel and access to community hospital services for all people in the Forest of Dean. It was agreed that travel and access issues should be reflected in any consideration of location.

We are committed to carrying out further public engagement on the location of a new hospital, including the use of a Citizens’ Jury of Forest of Dean residents to make a recommendation to the CCG Governing Body and GCS Board.

An independent body, Citizens Juries CIC was commissioned in March to design and run the Citizens’ Jury.

This approach to making a recommendation on the location of a new community hospital is consistent with feedback received through the public consultation.

Following discussions with Citizens Juries CIC, a decision to delay the start date of the Citizens’ Jury has been taken to allow for more detailed analysis and information to be presented to the Jury for their consideration.

The Citizens’ Jury will now start on the 30 July and run to 3 August, 2018.

The feedback from the earlier public consultation told us that access to services was a key issue for local people, and we want to ensure that the jury members have the best possible information to assist them in reaching their recommendation.

To support this, detailed travel and transport analysis will be progressed and further work will be carried out to assess the impact of location on people with protected characteristics e.g. people with a disability and people of different ages.”