Group REACH out for views on hospitals
By Rob Freeman | 18th June 2020
Opponents of the loss of emergency treatment at Cheltenham General Hospital have launched a survey to gather patients' views on planned surgery and information during the coronavirus crisis.
Restore Emergency at Cheltenham General Hospital (REACH) is concerned at vulnerable patients needing to go to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital - which is dealing with cases of COVID-19 - for emergency treatment.
It will publish the results of the survey in July. REACH chairman Michael Ratcliffe said: "Cheltenham General Hospital A&E has temporarily become a minor injuries unit with all other emergencies directed towards Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
"Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust has stated this will ensure Cheltenham General is a COVID-free or COVID-protected hospital, where planned surgery can occur with minimal risk of COVID infection.
"With planned surgery, steps can be taken to ensure patients are COVID-free, but patients admitted through emergency departments are assumed to be potentially COVID-positive, pending swab test results."
He continued: "Given the potential risk of COVID transmission between emergency and planned surgical patients, we were surprised to learn planned surgery patients with the highest risk of serious harm from COVID will continue to have operations at Gloucestershire Royal.
"We are encouraging as many people as possible to take part in this survey, both from within Gloucestershire and other parts of the UK.
"We very much hope this will provide invaluable insight into patients' views on planned surgery during COVID-19 and the information they receive."
You can take part in the survey here
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