So what’s going on with the Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury?
Please watch this video:
As part of the re-organisation of healthcare in Dorset, one of the proposals is to transform the Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury into what is known as a community hub without beds.
It is claimed that the hospital is there to stay and will become a sort of walk-in centre. But the beds will be removed and a reduced number will be farmed out to local care homes or other providers.
This, it is claimed, will make better use of the hospital real estate.
But the danger of course is that this is the thin end of the wedge, with the gradual erosion over time of the services on offer in Shaftesbury. In the end we could see a token; if any, health service in Shaftesbury with townsfolk having to travel ever further afield for their healthcare or to visit loved ones.
You only have to take a look at the map provided by the Dorset Vision people to see what I mean.
Also, a quick online search of hospitals in the region shows how isolated the people of Shaftesbury would be without its own dedicated unit.
I would ask, wouldn’t it be better to keep the beds in the hospital where they belong and open a walk-in centre elsewhere in the vicinity?
The Westminster Memorial Hospital is part of Shaftesbury’s heritage and if you value it and the service it provides please get involved in the public consultation about these changes.
You can find more information about this and how to participate and make your voice heard at www.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk.
Please don’t leave it to someone else, because they may be leaving it to you.