Update on new Forest hospital

Last week, our local NHS (NHS Gloucestershire CCG (CCG) and the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (GCS)), announced that they will be carrying out further public engagement regarding the location of a new Community Hospital in the Forest of Dean.

This follows the decisions of the CCG Governing Body and GCS Board at their meetings in January this year, when they approved the preferred option of a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean to replace Dilke Memorial Hospital and Lydney and District Hospital.

The information received during the upcoming 6 week period of public engagement on the location of a new hospital will be presented to the Citizens’ Jury of Forest of Dean residents at the end of July and will help them in making a recommendation to the CCG Governing Body and GCS Board.  The Citizens’ Jury will also receive information from local representatives, healthcare professionals, councils and transport providers.

The first events took place last weekend, and more will take place over the coming weeks. Details of the events can be found at http://www.fodhealth.nhs.uk/events/

I would encourage as many people as possible to attend one of these events.

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 original 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 will continue to follow the progress of this with interest. Throughout my 13 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.