Survey results send clear message on future of A&E in Cheltenham
By Sarah Wood | 5th February 2020
The results from a survey launched last September on issues at the heart of the local NHS Fit for the Future engagement exercise show that Gloucestershire people want a fully-functioning A&E at Cheltenham General Hospital.
The survey conducted by REACH, a campaign launched by Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, was completed by more than 2,100 people.
Results showed that:
- 93.71% of respondents either don't support or fully oppose proposals to create only one A&E Unit for Gloucestershire, based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
- 95.62% of respondents either don't support or fully oppose the proposals to replace the current Cheltenham A&E Department with a centre staffed by non-specialist doctors
- 90.63% of respondents either don't support or fully oppose the proposal to reduce the number and range of surgical services at Cheltenham General Hospital and concentrate them at Gloucester Royal
- 80.22% of respondents either don't support or fully oppose the Trust's ideas for making patients themselves responsible for deciding what is urgent and what is an emergency
The Trust confirmed in October that there will be no changes to the A&E at Cheltenham and that a Type 1 A&E, capable of responding to blue light emergencies will continue to operate.
Michael Ratcliffe, chairman of REACH commented: "We are absolutely delighted at the number of people who completed our survey and it is clear they are a ringing endorsement of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust decision not to make any changes to the A&E services at Cheltenham General Hospital. The survey results also amply demonstrate the strength of public feeling about protecting the number and range of surgical services at Cheltenham General Hospital which is an area that greatly concerns REACH."
Chris Hickey, spokesperson for REACH added: "We have previously made quite public our concerns that the Fit for the Future document could give a misleading impression. We were equally concerned however that the official survey launched by One Gloucestershire was flawed, which is why we launched our own survey.
"Crucially our questions gave respondents the ability to reflect the extent to which they support or oppose each point raised. The response to the survey has been fantastic and the results could not be more clear cut. We will be sharing these results in full with One Gloucestershire and also strongly urging them to fully take account of these views as part of their engagement process."
Photo credit: Google Image Capture July 2018
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