The NHS Foundation Trust have denied rumours that Cheltenham General Hospital’s A&E is being downgraded.
In a statement given to UoGlos Live, the NHS Foundation Trust said “To improve the service we provide for patients who need planned orthopaedic operations, such as hip and knee surgery, this winter we are changing the way we work.
“All emergency trauma and orthopaedic surgery will be carried out at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.”
— NHS Glos CCG (@GlosCCG) 21 October 2017
The foundation are insisting that the move should have “absolutely no impact on A&E and that people who need urgent care should attend our A&Es in the usual way.”
The trial aims to reduce the number of orthopaedic operations cancelled and to deliver a better experience for those patients who have surgery booked this winter.
According to Gloucestershire Live, leaked documents have suggested that patients should be moved over to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital should they need A&E services.
— GlosLiveOnline (@GlosLiveOnline) 26 October 2017
This may spell trouble for patients who find themselves having to travel further for treatment.
It could also spell trouble for relatives who may have to travel further to see family members in hospital.
Chris Hickey is a spokesperson for the REACH campaign (Restore Emergency At Cheltenham Hospital), which aims to restore full A&E services to the hospital.
He says “We’re really concerned that there’s going to be a further downgrading of the ability of Cheltenham to deal with accidents and emergencies, and this is a critical matter of time for people in half of Gloucestershire.
“If you live in the eastern half of Gloucestershire your nearest A&E is going to be another half an hour or forty minutes away.”
Hickey spoke to UoGlos Live to talk about the issues surrounding the current situation.
Interview with Chris Hickey, spokesperson for the REACH Campaign
The move was criticized by members of the public in Cheltenham as the rumours continue to concern citizens.
Cllr Iain Dobie also shares his concerns with UoGlos Live regarding the current state of affairs.
Interview with Cllr Iain Dobie, LibDem County Councillor for Leckhampton and Warden Hill, Cheltenham