Dismay at plans for Thornbury’s hospital site

April 29 2018

THORNBURY could have up to just ten NHS community beds within a private nursing home under the latest plans for health and care services in South Gloucestershire.

A long-running campaign for better health provision in the town had led to hopes of more beds for rehabilitation and care, together with outpatient services and improved facilities for GPs.

But the plans could see the hospital’s current 20 beds replaced with between just six and ten in a new 70/80-bed care or nursing home, with all rehabilitation beds going to the old Frenchay Hospital site.

Proposals for a new health centre on the Thornbury hospital site have also been met with some scepticism.

Thornbury councillor Maggie Tyrrell, the Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for adults and housing, said: "Those of us who have been fighting for years to get Thornbury the health services it needs have been here before.

“When you find your way through the fog of words and spin, what are they actually promising? When will it be built? Who will pay for it? I hope that this time words will become reality."

Thornbury and Yate Lib Dem Parliamentary spokeswoman, Claire Young, said: "Thornbury is growing rapidly and local services haven't kept up. 

“Many people have told me how difficult it is to see a GP in the town so a new, larger health centre would be great, if the GPs can be found to staff it. I think for many though, it will be a case of we'll believe it when we see it."

Long time hospital campaigner, Councillor Shirley Holloway, said: "Once again Thornbury is being sold down the river by the NHS. This decision is unbelievable. Of course the aim is to treat more people at home, but this is not appropriate for everyone.”

The hospital currently provides rehabilitation, intermediate care, palliative care, a limited range of consultant-led outpatient clinics and community services such as physiotherapy.

The governing body of the new Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said a full business case on the planned primary and community care hub at Thornbury would be completed by the autumn.