Question time on hospital strategy
7:30am Thu Oct 10, 2013
 
The people of Newark are being asked by campaigners to answer four key questions to see if they support the health authorities’ vision for the future of Newark Hospital.
A vision and strategy document published last week maps out how the hospital could be used.

Among its recommendations are the integration of GP out-of-hours services with the hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit, the extension of the Fernwood Unit for rehabilitating patients, the development of more diagnostic and out-patient facilities, the delivery of as much non-complex surgery as possible and the refinement of ambulance protocols.

However, more complex surgery that was suspended due to safety concerns may not be returning and the Say Yes to Newark Hospital campaign says it still has concerns about whether the MIU will be sufficiently upgraded to deal with more emergencies and prevent patients being unnecessarily transferred elsewhere.

It says it is essential the strategy has public support and has come up with four key questions it wants people to answer.

The campaign secretary, Mr Paul Baggaley, said they would use the responses to help gauge whether service users supported the strategy.

Chairman Mr Francis Town-drow, said: “A strategy for Newark Hospital is long overdue and Monitor (the independent regulator) has said clearly that the strategy must have the support of the local commissioner and service users.

“This is an opportunity for local people to say whether they are in favour of the proposals or not.

“We would like as many people as possible to get involved.”

The strategy was drawn up in response to reports from Monitor and the Sir Bruce Keogh Review that criticised the lack of a strategy for Newark.

The chief executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Paul O’Connor, said it had worked extensively with local people, trust staff and independent clinical experts to ensure the strategy reflected what people wanted and what it was possible to provide.

He said: “While there is still much to finalise, the proposals clearly identify opportunities for additional services to be run from Newark Hospital, including the possible introduction of an out-of-hours GP service.

“As part of the vision, a campaign will be launched to help local people understand what services are available at Newark Hospital, and to enable GPs to be more confident in referring people for care at this fabulous local hospital.”

The vision document is due to go before the trust board on October 29.

It can be viewed in full at www.newarkandsherwood.nhs.uk and www.sfh-tr.nhs.uk



* The campaign's questions can be answered below

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