People living in and around Shepton Mallet have voiced their support for a proposed health campus on the town’s community hospital site.
At a meeting of the Shepton Mallet Health Campus Project Board last week, members were informed that the majority of feedback received from patients, carers and the public had been positive and understanding that if successful, the proposal stood to deliver a much more integrated health services in the future.
The proposed health campus could see the Grove House Medical Practice move from its current location onto the town’s community hospital site. This would enable more integrated working between the community hospital and the diagnostic facilities and services provided by the Shepton Mallet Treatment Centre.
Earlier this year Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the GP led organisation now responsible for the planning and funding of Somerset’s health services, set up the Project Board in order to look at the options and practical steps needed to develop a health campus.
The Project Board has until October this year to come up with viable plans and options which will then be considered by members of the Governing Body of Somerset CCG and NHS England. If approved in principle, the plan would go forward for still further detailed planning and formal public consultation.
Amongst the priorities suggested by patients, carers and the public for a local health campus were:
- More ‘one-stop shop’ styled clinics with more x-ray / diagnostic tests performed on the campus site and with more outpatient clinics, thereby reducing the need to travel to local hospitals;
- Inpatient beds; including a number of stroke rehabilitation beds;
- More joined-up health and social care services; with timely and reliable community health care being delivered in the patient’s own home when practical to do so;
- Extended opening hours for the community hospital’s Minor Injury Unit;
- More antenatal and child health clinics held at the community hospital;
- Clinics / facilities to support people with mental ill health or in need of ‘talking therapies’;
- More car parking;
- A community information centre for patients, carers and relatives. The centre might also serve as a community meeting place, providing a social setting as well as a place to support patients’ emotional wellbeing.
Health Campus Project Group Chairman, Dr Harvey Sampson, explained:
“We have been pleased with the positive feedback we have had to date from local people. They have said how much they value their existing community hospital, GP surgery and Treatment Centre; and whilst a few people remain sceptical of the project, the majority of people we have encountered can see the benefits that a new health campus could bring to the community and appreciate that doing nothing is simply not an option; particularly if we are to address the poor state of repair of the community hospital ward and the ever growing demand for health services that comes from people living much longer.”
Information about the Shepton Mallet health campus proposal is available on the CCG’s web site at www.somersetccg.nhs.uk.
Members of the public, carers or patients who wish to share their views can do so - by writing to the address below or via email to Margaret Grizzell / Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephoning her on 01935 384000.
Shepton Mallet Health Campus Project Board
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group