Posted by: eyespie1 | July 1, 2010

‘Cash should be used to improve local hospitals’

Full text of Article in Driffield Times 23rd June 2010

CAMPAIGNERS believe money due to be spent on a proposed new hospital in Beverley should be used instead to improve services at existing local hospitals across the East Riding.

The millions of pounds due to be spent later this year, should be ploughed into improving existing services and facilities at the Beverley Westwood, Hornsea, Alfred Bean and Bridlington Hospitals.

Members of the No Swinemoor Hospital Action Group have spoken out against the new East Riding Community Hospital being built on the greenfleld and high flood risk site on Swinemoor Lane, Beverley, from the outset.

They say it is the wrong hospital on the wrong site and argued that it should have been built on the Am­bulance station site on the Driffield Road.

The group is also concerned that the hospital will lead to an increase in traffic and travel problems on Swinemoor Lane and cause Sig-ston Road to become a rat run, with residents having to endure parking problems in this already busy resi­dential street.

Sally De Bono, spokesperson for the residents’ committee of the No Swinemoor Hospital Action Group, has been out and about in Beverley, Driffleld and Hornsea with a new petition against the hospital.

She said: “The residents’ wishes were not considered by this council and the first petition ‘disap­peared’. “When we were out petitioning for a second time, we realised how awful it was for people living in rural communities north of Beverley. They are not getting access to emergency services, many have transport problems getting to Scarborough or to Hull and this will not improve when/if the East Riding Hospital in Beverley is built”,  she said.

She added: “The proposed East Riding Community Hospital is intended to serve the whole area but what we are now saying is that the money could be better spent by doing up the hospitals we’ve already got.”

“We believe that Bridlington hospital should now be revived and updated with some form of A&E, and the people from Driffield, Hornsea and these rural areas would then have easier access to emergency services. “Currently, they have to travel to Hull or Scarborough. The new community hospital in Beverley will not be able to deal with emergencies. It will only provide facilities to deal with minor injuries.

“The people of Beverley are nearer to the A&E in Hull but they still need a good fully updated local hospital and this could and should be the Westwood hospital, that is, if the peo­ple in charge of strategic development in Beverley were not so anxious to obtain all the best sites for luxury housing.”

The new Beverley hospital would have X-ray, therapy, out-patients and a 30 bed ward, but the action group claims there will prob­ably not be enough doctors, if  any, to man this 30 bed ward.

Plans for the new hospital have been sub­mitted to East Riding of Yorkshire Council as a reserved matters planning application. It has already been granted outline planning permission.

Ivan Ellul, Chief Executive, NHS East Riding of Yorkshire, said: “The new community hospital will be a very important and beneficial development for the people of the East Riding. The process for getting hospital up and running is well advanced.  Subject to reserved matters planning ap­proval, we hope to start work on site from October this year. We have approved refur­bishment plans for Alfred Bean Hospital, which is a sign of our intent to maintain services on the site. We continue to discuss plans for development of health services in Hornsea.”

N.S.H. asks Mr Ellul to let us know what the ‘approved refurbishment plans for Alfred bean Hospital’ are. He must know that there is huge opposition to the building of this hospital on this site and he must also, by now, be fully aware of people’s concerns about the loss of services to small local hospitals and yet, none of us know about these refurbishment plans. If there are any plans, why weren’t they announced at the Community Hospital liaison meetings?  Don’t you want to talk to us Mr Ellul or do you continue to treat those residents and others in  opposition to your plans, with contempt?  Yes, we know that the process for getting the hospital up and running is well advanced!  That does not mean that we will be giving up our fight for common sense and democracy!

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