Thank you to the ‘Save our Beds!’ Campaign Volunteers
5000 completed questionnaires were collected by Save Our Beds volunteers.
The initial 3 month public consultation on the future of beds at Shaftesbury's Westminster Memorial Hospital ended this week. In December 2016 Shaftesbury Town Council formed a Working Group to bring together all those who wanted to challenge the Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) proposals to downgrade the Hospital to a "Hub without beds".
The Working Group, Chaired by Cllr Anthony Austin, comprised a range of knowledgeable people from Gillingham and surrounding Parishes, as well as Shaftesbury. They found many flaws in the consultation process, most notably its exclusion of anyone across the border in Somerset and Wiltshire (who form a significant proportion of the Hospital's users). The CCG has been asked to give more time to allow for these people to be consulted.
The "foot- soldiers" in this battle were the dozens of volunteers working for the Save Our Beds (SOB) campaign, who publicised the consultation so widely and collected such an impressive number of completed questionnaires. As a result, on Tuesday, they were able to hand-deliver about 5,000 completed forms to the CCG CEO, Tim Goodson, in Dorchester.
The Town Council wishes to express its sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to this campaign, but particularly to the SOB volunteers led by Julian Prichard, who tirelessly drove and motivated a huge team of helpers in a push that so captured the spirit of the people of Shaftesbury.