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Sight of the Ellen Badger Hospital being demolished in Shipston has galvanised people to march in protest over the lack of a replacement





THE sight of the Ellen Badger Hospital being demolished in Shipston has galvanised people to march in protest over the lack of a replacement.

A peaceful demonstration is being organised by the League of Friends (LoF) of Shipston Hospital on Saturday (19th November), meeting from 10.30am at the car park in Church Street at the rear of the White Bear. The procession will start at 11am and make its way to the old hospital site.

LoF handed over £635,000 towards the cost of rebuilding the town’s community hospital in 2018, but since then South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust has stalled on the promise of building a replacement hospital, and still says it is contingent on the long-awaited results of a bed review.

Meanwhile SWFT comms team compile a brief YouTube video of the demolition set to atmospheric folky music.

LoF chairman Professor Bryan Stoten previously told the Herald: “SWFT says they will not make any decision or do anything until they’ve got the results of this review but it has taken over a year and still counting, so what have they been doing?

“It’s just another example of kicking the can down the road.”

The Ellen Badger Hospital was closed in January, but a series of delays – including the discovery of a protected species of bat and asbestos on the site – meant that demolition work only began last month.

Residents are increasingly angry that the removal of the old hospital has gone ahead without any guarantee a new one will be built.

A LoF spokesperson said: “Many of us are frustrated at the lack of progress and lack of information forthcoming about what the future holds for healthcare in Shipston. We hope to bring that frustration to the attention of decision-makers with the demonstration on Saturday.”

Organiser Danny Boyce added: “The Badger has provided this town with health and care facilities for generations. Unfortunately the severe incompetence and mismanagement from SWFT who are running the redevelopment has plagued the project from the beginning. with them failing to send any form of representation to the last League of Friends meeting to answer any questions that people may have wished to voice.

“As things currently stand there are no plans for beds within the new development. This means the already overbearing bed-blocking within acute hospitals will inevitably continue to worsen.

“We want as many people as possible to join us on Saturday – everybody counts. We’ve had a lot of support from the older generation, we would like to see the younger generation there too, as a new hospital will benefit us all in the future.”

A spokesperson for SWFT, which is building a community health centre on part of the hospital site, previously told the Herald: “The outcome of the bed review will take into account a number of contributory factors including community and professional expert feedback, clinical safety, learning from Covid-19 and financial and operational sustainability.” A doctors’ surgery was also to be part of the new development, but was halted following issues over costs.



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