Defending The Westminster Memorial Hospital

Outside WMH 04-01-17 a
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As part of the continued drive to keep the beds open in the Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury, I gave the statement below to the Dorset County Council’s Cabinet Committee.

“Thank you Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“My name is Lester Taylor and I am a Shaftesbury Town Councillor and the Deputy Mayor of Shaftesbury, but I speak today as an extremely concerned resident of Dorset and a member of the UK Independence Party.

“Over 5,000 people in the Shaftesbury area have responded to the CCG Clinical Services Review consultation with a clear message:

“The Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury is part of the fabric and heritage of the town and must continue to provide the same or improved essential medical services into the future with at least the current number of NHS medical beds.

“It must be retained as is, with a blue and white National Health Service sign outside, delivering services commissioned by the NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group free at the point of use.

“Although amended, the recommendation before you about these potential bed closures still does not go far enough I don’t think.

“Councillors may not be aware, but a local group called “Save Our Beds!” collected those 5,000 consultation questionnaires in just the pop-up shop in the town centre alone and then delivered them personally to the CCG CEO, Tim Goodson last week.

“That’s on top of a petition that attracted about 4,000 signatures. And the overwhelming majority of these are totally against the proposal to turn their hospital into a “hub without beds”.

“If you don’t know about this, you should, and now you do, you may wish to substantially amend this proposed report to acknowledge the serious concerns of the people of Shaftesbury.

“I live in Shaftesbury and I can tell you that the townsfolk and those in the surrounding areas are far from happy with the CCG proposals.

“I’ve knocked on doors, walked the streets, stood outside supermarkets and manned the “Save Our Beds!” campaign shop for hours on end and I know how deep the feelings of the town run with regard to their hospital.

“I and they view the CCG public consultation as flawed. The whole proposal is too urban-centric and it did not properly consult nearly half the users of the hospital, namely those that live a scant few miles away north of the county border in Wiltshire.

“So I reiterate the message:

“The Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury is part of the fabric and heritage of the town and must continue to provide the same or improved essential medical services into the future with at least the current number of NHS medical beds. It must be retained as is, with a blue and white National Health Service sign outside, delivering services commissioned by the NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group free at the point of use.

“Thank you all for listening.”

About the Author

Lester Taylor
Lester Taylor
Lester 'Jeff' Taylor is ex-military, a member of UKIP and a Shaftesbury Town Councillor.