Council urges decision makers to listen over hospital’s future

Northumberland County Council is urging NHS decision makers to listen to local views over the future of Rothbury Community Hospital.

While the local authority is not involved in the process, councillors are aware of the strength of local feeling over proposals to close the facility.

The NHS is considering plans to permanently shut the 12-bed inpatient ward at Rothbury Community Hospital, stating the facility is under used. The ward has been temporarily closed since the beginning of September 2016.

Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to replace the hospital with a health and wellbeing centre and more care in the community.

It proposes to use video links so patients can have consultations with specialists at hospitals further away.

However local residents and campaigners say the area has a high proportion of vulnerable, older people who need local hospital beds.

A three-month public consultation led by the CCG is now underway to consider the future of the ward.

Council Leader Grant Davey said: “There is clearly a great deal of concern in Rothbury and the surrounding community over these proposals.

“While the council isn’t involved in the consultation process, the health and wellbeing of all our residents is a key concern for us.

“We trust decision makers will listen carefully to the views of all those taking part in this ongoing consultation. It is an emotive issue and the outcome will have long-term consequences for people living in the area.”
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