The Governing Body of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has today approved a recommendation for Cinderford to be the location for a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean.

The Governing Body carefully considered the recommendation of the independent Citizens’ Jury, together with feedback received during the recent public and staff engagement, information about travel and access issues, independent Equality Impact Analysis and other information about the local population.

Forest of Dean GP commissioning lead on the Governing Body, Dr Lawrence Fielder said:

“Today’s decision represents a significant step forward. However, we know that there will be mixed feelings across our communities with today’s outcome which comes on the back of a lot of public engagement, including the independent Citizens’ Jury.

We understood that people would want the new hospital to be located in the place where they live. Therefore, it was very important that we considered a wide range of factors, information and views before reaching a decision that we feel represents the best option for service users who live in the Forest of Dean.

Our top priority will always be patient care and I believe a new hospital will offer a number of benefits to local patients.

Whether it’s an improved layout and space to support services, overcoming the difficulties of maintaining some essential services across two sites or providing a great care environment for patients and staff, this is a much needed development for the Forest of Dean.”

Further detailed work will now be carried out by the local NHS to identify and consider suitable sites.

The NHS is also committed to carrying out further public engagement in the coming months to ensure local people are fully involved in the development of the new community hospital in the Forest of Dean and the services it provides.