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Hospital A&E closure ‘deeply flawed’

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

After Cheltenham’s accident and emergency unit suddenly closed last week, a Cotswold district councillor described the abrupt occurence as “deeply flawed”.  As of August, all out-of-hours emergency cases are to go the Gloucestershire Royal – Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG) confirmed.  While a GCCG spokesperson believes that this will allow “more robust” medical cover, Lib Dem councillor Paul Hodgkinson is angry at the absolute lack of consultation.

Mr Hodgkinson said: “As a Cotswold councillor I only got to hear about this in the last couple of months.” He continued: “I’m willing to bet that most Cotswold residents, when they hear this, will not have a clue about it, and that means the process in deeply flawed.

Extra 10km on top of the journey time

Cheltenham will continue to see walk-in patients that do not require urgent medical attention, yet anyone that is severely ill will have to go to Gloucester. Many argue that this is inefficient considering the large area of the Cotswolds that look to Cheltenham for its services. The fact that they will now have to go to Gloucester for medical attention adds an extra 10km on top of the journey time. 

Micheal Ratcliffe, Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, said that he felt the board had acted incorrectly regarding the manner in which the information was provided to the public.

The emergency departments at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals currently treat about 120,000 patients every year.  Due to this sudden change, NHS Gloucestershire estimated that around 16 patients, with either a critical injury or illness, would have to be diverted from Cheltenham to Gloucestershire during late hours.

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