December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Health bosses will be invited to clarify to councillors what the future holds for Saffron Walden Community Hospital.
Members of Saffron Walden Town council agreed to write to the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG) in an attempt to shed more light on concerns the under-used facility may be shut under a revamp of the NHS.
The Reporter approached WECCG chairman Dr Rob Gerlis about the rumours last month and he put to bed any fears the hospital was at risk of closure.
However, town councillors are worried the decision may be taken out of the WECCGs hands by NHS England – the body charged with holding CCGs to account.
Speaking at Thursday’s full council meeting, Councillor Mike Hibbs said: “I strongly recommend we write to the CCG to stress our desire for the hospital to be kept open and to be enhanced.”
Cllr Jim Ketteridge said he had “not seen or heard anything about the hospital being at risk” but Cllr Doug Perry insisted clarification was important.
Cllr Hibbs was concerned the closure of the endoscopy clinic and other reported service cutbacks at the Radwinter Road facility were evidence that NHS England could end up going above the heads of CCG bosses.
“If the services are not available from the community hospital then the CCG cannot commission them,” he said.