‘Ghost’ hospital in Fareham needs a bus stop and expanded GP access, says report

Fareham Community Hospital in Brook Lane, Sarisbury
Fareham Community Hospital in Brook Lane, Sarisbury

A BUS stop and expanded GP access are among the ideas proposed by a taskforce to turnaround an underused Fareham hospital.

The Fareham Community Taskforce, which includes its management body Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, has come up with the proposals following a consultation with residents last year. 

Suella Braverman and members of the taskforce launching the report at Fareham Community Hospital.

Suella Braverman and members of the taskforce launching the report at Fareham Community Hospital.

The proposals aim to address resident's concerns that it is a 'ghost hospital,' according to the taskforce's chairperson, Suella Braverman MP. 

Speaking in Parliament, she said: 'It is at risk of becoming a wasted opportunity.

'When I was elected, the number one issue was how can we better use the facilities. 

'It remains under utilised according to several footfall surveys we have conducted.'

Despite the issue of usage, Ms Braverman described the hospital as a 'fantastic facility.' 

Among the eight proposals put forward is an expansion of its Same Day Access Service, which helps residents see a GP at short notice, and a change to bus routes X4 and X5 so they stop at the hospital.

The Access Service is available to residents registered at Jubilee, Whiteley, and Highlands Road GP surgeries. 

Dr Tom Bertram, clinical director for Sovereign Healthcare and GP Partner at Jubilee Surgery, said: 'We have been providing an urgent, same-day assessment service for our patients from Fareham Community Hospital over the last 18 months which has been both effective and efficient, as well as proving very popular with our patients.  

'We are grateful to all the members of the public who took the trouble to give us their views and feedback, and look forward to playing our part in the future of the hospital.'

Friends of Fareham Community Hospital, a team of more than 40 volunteers at the hospital, welcomed the report. 

A spokesperson said: ‘We will continue to promote and support the hospital and the local community it serves through various activities such as running dementia support groups, holding regular talks on health related matters which help us to help ourselves, and supporting new initiatives.’

One proposal was that the hospital should accommodate mental health facilities if it remains under-used.

The proposals will be addressed by the members of the taskforce, which is made up of key stakeholders from the hospital including Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and Friends of Fareham Community Hospital.