Call for council to oppose any cuts to hospital beds
Opposition councillors are calling for the district council to oppose any plans to remove inpatient beds from Shipston’s Ellen Badger Hospital or the Nicol Unit at Stratford Hospital.
The South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) is currently holding a review into the inpatient facilities at their community hospitals, with an eye on exploring their current and future use.
However, the opposition Liberal Democrat group at Stratford District Council has urged the authority to support the retention of beds in these settings, noting that inpatient beds have already been lost in Alcester.
The motion also draws attention to the retention of inpatient beds in local hospitals managed by neighbouring authorities, such as in Moreton-in-Marsh.
The SWFT consultation has already closed to the public, but Cllr Susan Juned, leader of the Liberal Democrats, urged SWFT to keep it open for longer and to publicise it more to residents.
Cllr Juned said: “There is a lot of concern about losing beds in these smaller settings and we really have to fight hard to make sure we keep these facilities. I am concerned that this consultation has not been widely publicised, I don’t think parish councils have been properly informed.
“I would urge SWFT to keep this consultation open for longer so residents can have their say on this important issue.
“I have urged the district council to oppose the removal of beds in these settings, the authority is represented on a number of different bodies that can express a view, it is not limited to just responding to this particular consultation.”
The motion will now be discussed by cabinet members at a forthcoming meeting.
A spokesperson for SWFT said: “South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust is currently undertaking a review of the inpatient facilities at Ellen Badger and Stratford Hospitals.
“The purpose of the review is to identify the extent to which the current model of care meets the needs of the population of south Warwickshire both now and in the years to come and will be exploring previous, current and future use of our community hospital beds alongside out-of-hospital services.
“The pandemic has led to new ways of working and therefore an opportunity to review the use of these facilities, and this will be a contributing factor within this review.
“The review is currently underway and the trust will share recommendations at the appropriate time.”
SWFT confirmed that the public consultation element of the inpatient bed review has now ended.