Results of major consultation show majority in favour of Lutterworth hospital refurbishment

The hospital board says the work would increase the number of services and reduce travel distances for those seeking treatment
MP Alberto Costa has welcomed the results.MP Alberto Costa has welcomed the results.
MP Alberto Costa has welcomed the results.

The results of a major consultation determining the future of Lutterworth’s Feilding Palmer Hospital have been published.

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board, which oversees the hospital, held a consultation from October to January, into plans to remove the ten inpatient beds - which have been closed since the pandemic - and increase the number of outpatient appointments to around 17,000 annually. The board says it would increase the number of services for the region’s growing population and reduce travel distances for those seeking treatment.

And, according to a total of 3,398 responses, the consultation showed 86 per cent of respondents agreed with keeping the hospital open and refurbishing it to create an outpatient department.

Over half of respondents (58 per cent) ‘strongly agreed’ with the proposal while 28 per cent said they ‘agreed’.

Nearly half of those who agreed did so due to the convenience of the hospital’s location and greater accessibility to treatment.

Others said it would increase the availability of medical facilities in the area which is becoming more populated.

Meanwhile, eight per cent of respondents indicated disagreement with the proposal.

Those who disagreed said they think the beds should remain while a few said it was too far for patient visitors to travel.

The remainder chose ‘neither agree or disagree’.

MP Alberto Costa, who has raised the future of the hospital with government ministers, welcomed the results in favour of the proposal.

He said: “I am delighted that so many residents engaged with the consultation, and I look forward to meeting with the ICB to discuss the results and next steps.

“I have been pushing hard for the Feilding Palmer’s use for my constituents.

“I was delighted to secure the hospital’s use as a vaccination hub during the pandemic, but constituents also care deeply about the long-term use of Feilding Palmer and its role in the community. Therefore, this consultation is very welcome.”

However, the Save Lutterworth Hospital campaign group claims the board plans to spend £2.5million refurbishing the hospital – money they say would be better spent on a new building.

The group says findings from a survey of 17,000 residents carried out in 2021 show 95 per cent wanted beds in the hospital. But the latest survey did not give the option of keeping the beds in the questions.

The group has commissioned an architect to draft a layout with 15 rehabilitation beds.

A spokesperson said: “This group asks our commissioners to work with us to save money and deliver even more health - by a new build that’s a health and visual asset for south Leicestershire.

“Two prospective parliamentary candidates have promised to raise the necessary £13million for a new build from outside the NHS, if elected.”

The group says under its proposals, the beds would cost £200 per night compared to £536 per bed per night for a central hospital, saving the NHS 1.8million a year.

Members are calling for help from commissioners and stakeholders to help develop their proposal for a new build. Those interested can email the group.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Care Board will review the consultation findings and they will be ‘considered formally in due course’.