Heatherwood Hospital consultation begins todayBy Julie Spencer
October 15, 2012
The formal consultation on the future of Heatherwood Hospital begins today and campaigners are urging Bracknell people to vote ‘no’ to service cuts.
The three-month consultation will give people the chance to have their say on plans to close maternity, rehabilitation services and the minor injuries unit at the Ascot hospital as part of the review of health care in east Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire..
The NHS is keen to point out while the services would not be on the Heatherwood site, the minor injuries unit would move to the centre at Brants Bridge in Bracknell and that the aim is to provide rehabilitation services closer to people's homes as well as investing in Heatherwood.
Terry Pearce, chairman of Defend Our Community Services (DOCS) said: “The pre-consultation exercise resulted in the community rejecting the proposals to move these facilities from Heatherwood,
“In other words all the proposals were rejected. Why then in the consultation commencing on October 15 are the NHS bosses again putting forward these facilities for removal from Heatherwood - the public has already spoken.
“DOCS will be campaigning as part of the Save Heatherwood Hospital Campaign to again reject these proposals, we suggest that residents again vote No to removing these services from Heatherwood.”
During the consultation, people living in Bracknell and Ascot will be asked their views on three areas – moving the minor injuries unit at Heatherwood to the new planned Urgent Care Centre at Brants Bridge in Bracknell, closing the birth centre and closing rehabilitation Ward 8 that currently looks after stroke and general medical patients with the service provided to people in or close to their own homes.
People can send in a questionnaire in the consultation documents, complete a questionnaire online at www.berkshire.nhs.uk/shapingthefuture or attend public meetings.
Details of various public events can be found on www.berkshire.nhs.uk/shapingthefuture or by calling 0800 148 8572.
The Shaping the Future of Healthcare in East Berkshire consultation will last three months and the deadline for all public responses is January 31, 2013.