Meeting focus on hospital’s future

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

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HEALTH bosses were accused of “being against old people” during a Question Time event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The proposed closure of Rossall Hospital dominated yesterday’s forum where members of the public were given an opportunity to quiz health chiefs.

The Blackpool Commissioning Group, Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is looking into moving rehabilitation services at Rossall and Wesham Hospitals

to St Annes’ Clifton Hospital, meaning a lengthy trip for

people in Wyre who need treatment.

The panel, which contained several directors of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was asked about the proposals during the heated debate.

One member of the audience said: “What has the new management at the Trust got against old people?

“The new management intends to close down the hospital at Rossall.

“In 10 years time you’ll regret this direction.”

The trust’s director of operations, Pam Oliver, said she was trying to convince the public “we’re doing something better.”

She said: “As far as I’m concerned we won’t shut a bed until we’ve found a solution for those patients.

“This is a significant investment in elderly care in the community.

“Our job is to make sure people are safe and being cared for.

“We’re not trying to shut hospitals and do nothing.

“We have to convince the public we’re doing something better.”

Other panel members at the forum included acting chief executive Tim Welch, medical director Mark O’Donnell, acting director of human resources Janet Benson, and acting director of finance Feroz Patel.

Speaking to The Gazette after the meeting, Mrs Oliver said: “I actually welcomed the feistiness of that meeting and the challenge that we got.

“It’s usually people who have a concern or a point that they wish to put across.

“The whole purpose of the meeting is for us to listen and respond.”

The consultation period regarding the proposed hospital closures ends on January 31.

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