CAMPAIGNERS aiming to see a community hospital used more say that it is a crucial time for its future.
Fareham Community Hospital cost £10m when it was built in 2010 but many people in the borough say it has never been used to its full potential – last year it was estimated that the overall its rooms were only used for 40 per cent of each day.
In recent times the hospital has become the base for a GP same-day access service in Fareham and a GP-led hub but campaigners want to see more services there. They say this will not only help people in the borough of Fareham but also take some of the strain off Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
Fareham MP Suella Braverman is holding a health summit to bring together groups responsible for local healthcare and give residents a chance to have their say. Among those attending are representatives from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, Better Local Care, Hampshire County Council adult health and care and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Mrs Braverman hopes that having everyone in the same room will help to map out a plan for the hospital’s future.
She said: ‘I am passionate about putting the needs of Fareham residents at the forefront of the discussion.’
Borough Council leader Sean Woodward is campaigning for the hospital to be used more and wants to have breast screening services at the hospital after the loss of a regular screening truck at Locks Heath Shopping Centre. He said: ‘The management of the screening service would love to have the unit at the Hospital, however this is not possible currently as an MRI truck needs to be on site weekly and they use the one external power supply.
‘An alternative and preferable option for them would be a mammography room at the hospital; they would supply the staff. They would be able to offer more appointments to patients in the area.’
The service typically offers 110 appointments a day.
A CCG spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing our efforts to ensure the hospital is a vibrant and well-used facility. We know that the hospital is highly regarded by people in the area, and the last year or so has seen much progress in attracting new services, including its use as the base for both the GP Same-Day Access Service and the GP-led hub.’
To reserve a place at the health summit visit eventbrite.co.uk/e/health-summit-tickets-47259033040