I have been reliably informed that the NHS in Gloucestershire is about to publish plans to downgrade the A&E Department at Cheltenham General Hospital. A proposal will be published in a consultation next week, with the consultation lasting for less than a month.
Cheltenham is a town of 115,000 people and Cheltenham General's A&E is used by people living in the Cotswolds and elsewhere in Gloucestershire.
Cheltenham deserves an A&E and Gloucestershire Royal simply doesn't have capacity anyway to handle all the county's demand.
Show your opposition to these plans by signing my petition below. NHS managers might think this is a done deal, which is why they've launched the consultation in August, but they are wrong. The fightback starts today.
HOSPITAL UPDATE (19/08/2019 - 14:30)
Health managers have stated recently that there is no plan to close Cheltenham’s A&E “in September”. That’s welcome of course, but we need know about the plans thereafter. There simply isn’t the capacity in Gloucestershire Royal to cope with the whole county’s A&E, despite the incredible efforts of talented and dedicated staff.
Today the MPs for Cheltenham, the Cotswolds and Tewkesbury wrote to the health leadership calling on them to rule out closing Cheltenham’s A&E.
HOSPITAL UPDATE (3/08/2019 - 11:30)
I have been informed by the Trust that a decision has been taken to “temporarily pause the next stage of the engagement process due to commence on Monday 5th August.”
They go on to state:
“This follows feedback we have received from our stakeholders about the need to do further work in advance of the engagement launch to avoid any unintended confusion between the launch of this engagement process and the formal public consultation planned towards the end of the year.
A further update will follow next week.”
I warmly welcome this decision. But the Trust now needs to go further and rule out downgrading Cheltenham’s A&E. I and the thousands of people who have contacted me will challenge any such plans every step of the way.