While the actual decision will be made by the Governing Body of NHS Dorset CCG on 20 September, it is expected that the recommendations to close the hospital at St Leonard’s, coming out of the Clinical Services Review, will be agreed.
The proposals indicate that currently there are 13 community hospitals in Dorset, which provide services like scanning, x-rays, and outpatient appointments with 40-50% of space not being used. So they are proposing 12 community hubs across Dorset. All sites would offer a range of outpatient services such as for tests and scans.
Based on the current demand and population, the community hubs with beds are expected to be located in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital or Poole, then Wimborne, Bridport, Blandford, Shaftesbury Sherborne, Swanage, and Weymouth hospitals. It is said the total number of community beds would increase by around 70.
Also in the proposals, the community hubs without beds would be located in Christchurch, Dorchester, Portland and Wareham.
Alderney, Westhaven and St Leonards hospitals would not be used as community hubs and services based there would be moved to other locations. Proposals for the future of mental health beds that are currently in Westhaven and Alderney hospitals will be reviewed in separate consultations. St Leonards Hospital would close.
Jacqueline Moss, Chair of the Friends of St Leonards, said, “We have just heard that we have lost our battle to save our hospital, St Leonards, we had fought long and hard and it will close in about 18 months. This is a sad day for us all who live in the area because I along with the Friends and all the nurses and staff know it will all end in tears and people are not going to get the care that they need.”
Among other proposals, the main Accident and Emergency hospital will the Royal Bournemouth hospital, with an urgent care centre at Poole hospital to deal with less-life threatening injuries and planned care. Poole will lose its maternity and paediatrics services, which will transfer to Bournemouth. Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester would remain a district general hospital with the most seriously ill or injured patients transferred to Bournemouth.
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