Save our services say patient group

The SOS group protest outside Retford Hospital. The group is against proposed changes to the health service. (w101116-28a).
The SOS group protest outside Retford Hospital. The group is against proposed changes to the health service. (w101116-28a).

PEOPLE power is gaining momentum for a group which is campaigning to save vital services at Bassetlaw Hospital.

Over 200 people have joined the Save Our Services (SOS), set up to safeguard A&E, maternity and children’s services which are currently under review by NHS Bassetlaw and Doncaster.

Adele Mumby from the SOS group protest outside Retford Hospital. The group is against proposed changes to the health service.  (w101116-28b).

Adele Mumby from the SOS group protest outside Retford Hospital. The group is against proposed changes to the health service. (w101116-28b).

Group spokesman Adele Mumby said people are concerned the proposals will reduce Bassetlaw to a “cottage hospital” with a range of GP services.

“We are all for new services but not at the cost of what’s already in place,” she said.

“We all want the best healthcare, but not when it means taking away perfectly-well run services we already have.”

The group say they are particularly concerned about a suggestion Bassetlaw Hospital’s capacity could be reduced by half to accomodate GPs.

Minutes obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from a meeting held in June this year show the suggestion to ship GPs in to the hospital could “offer a solution” to the Kilton Hill premises issue.

An SOS spokesman said: “While this may solve some issues for GPs it will do nothing to enhance medical provisions at Worksop.”

“Indeed we believe the exact opposite to be the case.”

But hospital chiefs insist Bassetlaw Hospital’s A&E is NOT closing down, and that combined primary and secondary care facilities will improve the overall patient experience.

The Guardian met with chief executive Felicity Cox and GP and medical director Dr Philip Foster last week ahead of the public consultation period which will now start on 4th January 2011.

Miss Cox said the review was about striking the balance between increasing current services at Bassetlaw Hospital and ensuring patients received the highest quality of care.

“We believe this review will secure Bassetlaw Hospital’s future for the long-term,” she said.

Dr Foster said an Assessment and Treatment Centre (ATC) would be created alongside the existing A&E department - aiming to develop a treatment plan within 48 hours.

“It will allow rapid access to a team including consultant physicians, GPs, therapists, community matrons and social care staff,” he said.

“This will ensure you’re treated in the very best place.”