Plans to remove inpatient beds at Lutterworth hospital to make way for outpatient services
Plans are in the pipeline to remove all inpatient beds at Lutterworth’s Feilding Palmer Hospital and provide outpatient services instead.
The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR), which oversees the hospital, says with the local population expected to grow by 40 per cent over the next ten years, there will be higher demand for hospital services.
It is now looking to replace the ten current inpatient beds – which have been closed since the pandemic - with an outpatient department, and increase outpatient services to some 17,000 appointments a year.
There are also plans to create a ‘Lutterworth Health Campus’ on Gilmorton Road, to provide services like mental health, optometry, dentistry, GP practices and local authority services.
Wycliffe Medical Practice GP and senior partner Dr Graham Johnson said: “The population of Lutterworth and surrounding areas is expected to grow by 40 per cent in the next ten years, and this will bring with it greater demand for health services for people of working age.
“Founded in 1899, Feilding Palmer Hospital is a much-loved hospital in the Lutterworth community, but sadly it is no longer fit to provide 21st century services. Our vision is to provide high quality and modern services closer to home and these proposals will help realise that vision in Lutterworth.”
Locally some 2,700 homes are set to be built over the coming years, and the LLR board says creating services closer to home would save some 20,000 travel miles.
David Williams, group director of strategy and partnerships for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “Making these changes will mean more services available to residents of Lutterworth and the surrounding areas, reducing the distance people have to travel for treatment and avoiding costly car parking charges. Overall, it will be better for patients and the environment.”
But campaigners from the Mary Guppy Group - made up of 80-year-old Mary Guppy, Bill Piper and David Fish – say the hospital needs more inpatient beds.
The group say findings from a survey of 17,000 residents carried out in 2020 show 95 per cent wanted beds in the hospital and residents think there is a huge distance from the town to central hospitals – with one cancelling an appointment after being quoted a £70 round-trip by taxi firms.
It says to improve facilities rehabilitation beds and an end-of-life unit should be created.
David Fish said: “Mary has been repeating the message of our survey, that more beds are wanted and needed in Leicester and Leicestershire.
“We are asking again for a fit and proper costing meeting with senior commissioners and ourselves because we believe NHS public information suggests ways this could financially happen.”
A consultation into the LLR’s plans is currently taking place until January 14.
Chief strategy and planning officer for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board, Sarah Prema, added: “I would really encourage people to get involved. This is your chance to find out more about what is being proposed and have your say about some of the health services in Lutterworth, to help the local NHS understand what the proposed changes would mean for you and your family, so that we can make a final decision.”
Visit www.haveyoursaylutterworth.co.uk to fill out the questionnaire or find out more.