‘Don’t shut it, expand it’ say hospital campaigners

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A delegation from Lutterworth will next week tell county NHS bosses: ‘Don’t close our Feilding Palmer Hospital - expand it!’

The town delegation - with South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa - will meet representatives from Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group at the House of Commons next Tuesday.

The small Lutterworth hospital has been proposed for closure under a county-wide NHS plan.

The same plan also proposed investment in outpatient and diagnostic services in the town.

But in a meeting in the town’s Wycliffe Rooms last week, around 300 people urged health bosses to keep the hospital open.

Local campaigner Mary Guppy - who was born in the hospital - said: “I was at the Wycliffe Rooms meeting and no-one - but no-one - accepted what the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group was saying.”

The hospital at the moment provides 13 beds for people requiring medical rehabilitation and palliative care.

Mrs Guppy said hospitals like Feilding Palmer are important to local people - and if used correctly could be a vital resource for the NHS.

She said: “These small cottage hospitals are important because it means people can occupy beds near to their homes, so they can be visited more easily.

“Cottage hospitals can also be used to reduced bed blocking in major hospitals.”

She said that it was surely better to have 15 recovering patients in one place, rather than making nurses or carers travel round the area to 15 different homes.

“We appreciate the hospital needs updating” said Mrs Guppy, “But it’s a useful facility.

“And with Lutterworth growing by 2,500 houses, the hospital needs expanding, not closing!”