Fit for the Future - What matters to you?
We at REACH would be really grateful if you could complete this survey. First though, let us explain the background to the survey and why REACH has chosen to create it.
The REACH campaign was founded, as the title suggests, to secure the re-establishment of a full 24/7 Accident and Emergency department at Cheltenham General Hospital to serve the people of that town and the surrounding districts of Gloucestershire. The campaign has expanded to keep a watching brief on other core services.
We at REACH are concerned that the One Gloucestershire Fit for the Future survey has been constructed in such a manner that the results can be used to justify a decision that the respondents would not have supported. Because of this we have chosen to launch our own engagement and create this survey, to gather the real preferences of those local people in Gloucestershire and surrounding areas, who will be affected by these proposals.
We would be really grateful if you could complete this survey and encourage others to do so. We will share the survey results with the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust and will challenge them to respond to peoples' wishes.
What is the purpose of the Consultation?
Gloucestershire Hospitals and Clinical Commissioning Group would like to reorganise hospital services between Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH) and Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH).
They have created the concept of “Centres of Excellence”. This concept is essentially centralisation of a particular specialty or service on either the GRH or CGH site, meaning that that service would no longer be available in the other hospital. Whilst the hospital has suggested that this would provide “excellent” care, there is little to suggest that the quality of care in the current configuration is anything other than good or excellent.
Whilst the centralisation of any particular specialty might improve the quality of care slightly, such a reorganisation would also inevitably mean that half of the County would need to travel further for this specialist care in each circumstance.
Some of the centralisations would require very large numbers of inpatient or overnight hospital beds (e.g. the highest number being acute medicine, followed by emergency surgery and trauma orthopaedics), whereas some of the proposals, such as day surgery, would require no inpatient beds, as the definition of day surgery is that patients go home on the same day. Understanding the implications for hospital bed requirements with each proposal is important, as it is essential that the hospital beds on both sites are used effectively for the benefit of all the local population.
Please note that the Consultation does not include the Cheltenham A & E Department, as the Hospital Trust is committed to re-opening Cheltenham General A & E after the pandemic.