Campaigners ask NHS chiefs for concrete answers over Thornbury Hospital plans
THE FIGHT for better health provision in Thornbury has been stepped up with campaigners asking for concrete plans and straight answers from NHS bosses in the wake of a U-turn at Frenchay.
The town was told repeatedly that a scheme for a state-of-the-art medical centre to replace Henderson Ward would not be reviewed until the Frenchay Hospital project had been finalised.
But delays in formalising these proposals relegated the town to the bottom of the waiting list, pushing a potential completion date back to 2015 at the earliest.
A decision was made on Thursday, September 19 regarding Frenchay's future, and now local councillors and the League of Friends of Thornbury Hospital are determined to press the NHS for answers.
League chairman Cllr Shirley Holloway told the Gazette: "We need concrete answers. We want to know that Thornbury is still on the horizon.
"When you look at how far people would have to travel for treatment, Yate or Cossham is not an option. It is quite clear that we need some services in the town."
Last week, the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group unveiled major changes to its original plans to keep non-acute services at Frenchay once the hospital closes and a new £430 million hospital opens at Southmead.
It was announced there would be no diagnostics or outpatient facilities as previously expected.
Despite this setback elsewhere in the region, Cllr Holloway said she was confident Thornbury's project would go ahead as planned.
"Our plans for Thornbury are not so complicated," she added. "We are just fighting for what we can get in Thornbury; we are not asking for anything outlandish. Personally I feel confident that it's on course."
As the plans currently stand, the state-of-the-art complex which would replace the current Henderson Ward and health centre would include a nursing home with six NHS-funded beds and extra care housing. A new health centre would also be created with a greater range of outpatient and diagnostic services as well as a minor injury unit.
The question of where the NHS beds would be provided remains unclear at the moment.
NHS South Gloucestershire was not available for comment.
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