A new hospital for the Forest of Dean

Last week, our local NHS (NHS Gloucestershire CCG (CCG) and the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (CST)), launched their 12 week public consultation on a preferred option to build a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean by 2021/2022. The public consultation booklet is titled – Health and Wellbeing for the future: Community Hospitals in the Forest of Dean.

I welcome the commitment to provide a new community hospital for my constituents which will ensure we have a facility in the Forest of Dean which is fit for modern, efficient and high quality healthcare. I am pleased that the consultation booklet confirms that a new hospital would feature a better working environment for staff, meaning greater opportunities for training and development and enhancing the ability to recruit and retain the best health and care professionals to work in the Forest of Dean.

I would encourage as many people as possible to read the booklet and respond to the consultation. You can access the information and respond to the survey online at www.fodhealth.nhs.uk.

The consultation runs until 10th December and, as well as accessing it online, you can collect a copy of the booklet and a freepost envelope to return the survey, from pharmacies, local GP surgeries, community hospitals and the Forest of Dean District Council offices in Coleford.

I will follow the progress of this consultation with interest. Throughout my 12 years as the local Member of Parliament here, I have always supported delivering as many healthcare services as possible locally within the Forest of Dean. I know that view is widely shared by my constituents and I am pleased that our local NHS is of the same mind.

I meet regularly with both organisations involved in delivering this consultation. I was happy to recently meet with Mary Hutton, Accountable Officer of the CCG, and separately with Ingrid Barker, Chair, and Katie Norton, Chief Executive, of Gloucestershire Care Services, to discuss issues and opportunities facing the NHS here in Gloucestershire, and look forward to continue working with them in future.