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Preferred option of a new Community Hospital in the Forest of Dean approved

Following careful review, consideration and discussion, CCG Governing Body members have approved the preferred option of a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean to replace Dilke Memorial Hospital and Lydney and District Hospital.

Meeting on Thursday, Governing Body members also approved the criteria to be used to consider a preferred location for the hospital and agreed that an independent body will be commissioned to establish a combined panel to make a recommendation on the location.

The Panel will be independently selected and will include a majority of lay (public) members.

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

“Governing Body members were satisfied that no new or material information had come to light through the consultation that would bring into question the case for change.

That said, members considered very carefully all of the information presented to them, including the consultation feedback, and recognised that several key themes had emerged.

Whilst approving the preferred option, we have agreed what we will do with Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and other partners to address a number of these points in our planning.

We recognise that for many, today’s news will be tinged with great sadness with the replacement of two existing hospitals that have served the communities of the Forest of Dean for generations. We are acutely aware of this.

However, we believe the preferred option 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.

Moving forward, our shared ambition is to work in partnership with local people and staff to deliver a fitting legacy – a fantastic new, state of the art community hospital that can support high quality, modern healthcare and respect the rich heritage of the Forest of Dean.”

Work will now progress to determine a location for the new hospital with a planned completion date for the build of 2022.

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Additional information

Key themes from the consultation:

The number of beds in a new hospital

Governing Body members confirmed that no final bed numbers had been agreed for any new hospital in the Forest of Dean and that further work would be undertaken on the evidence base for proposed bed numbers. This will be completed and shared before the final design of the new community hospital is agreed.

Travel and access

Governing Body members also recognised the importance of travel and access for people in the Forest of Dean. It was agreed that travel and access issues should be reflected in any consideration of location.

The CCG will also work with Gloucestershire Care Trust and other partners to support wider work to improve public transport and access routes within the Forest of Dean and work with community transport providers to promote the use of their services.

Other recommendations

Whilst approving the preferred option, the CCG also agreed a number of recommendations relating to:

• Changing demographics
• Forest of Dean heritage/local investment
• Level of detail/detailed service planning
• NHS costs
• Response to alternative options
• The impact of options/impact assessment
• The criteria for location of any new community hospital and how any recommendation would be made.

Full details on these recommendations can be found in the Governing Body Board papers here.

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