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Posted 12/08/2013


There was clear and unanimous opposition to the decision by the Gloucestershire Care Commissioning Group (GCCG) to divert Emergency Ambulances from Cheltenham General Hospital to Gloucester Royal Hospital between 8.00pm and 8.00am every day.
The meeting agreed that they wished to:

1. Get a fully staffed and fully functioning A&E Department reinstated at Cheltenham General Hospital 24 hours a day as soon as possible.
2. Confirm with the GCCG that the decision to downgrade the A&E Department was taken solely as a result of the lack of suitable members of staff and to understand what steps would be taken to reverse the current position with regards to the recruitment and retention of staff; and
3. Highlight the flawed nature of the consultation process and the lack of transparency of the process.

A steering group has been formed to take forward the campaign to get a fully functioning A&E Department reinstated at Cheltenham General Hospital.

The Chair of the Steering Group is the Chief Executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, Michael Ratcliffe

“We welcome the fact that the campaign has now been broadened to include local MP Martin Horwood; NHS Community Representatives; local campaign group 38 Degrees Gloucestershire; local law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys as well as representatives of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and other public and private sector bodies.”

“The decision to down grade the A&E Department at Cheltenham General Hospital does not just affect over 120,000 people in Cheltenham it also affects 80,000 people in Tewkesbury Borough and thousands in the North Cotswold area. We should remember that if Gloucester cannot cope with all the emergency ambulances sent to them then the next nearest hospital is probably Bristol rather than Cheltenham. We will work together to get a fully functioning A&E Department at Cheltenham General Hospital.”

Martin Horwood MP commented:
“I’m very pleased to have been part of this meeting. If anything, the anger at this decision – and the way it was taken – seems to be growing. The group that is coming together has formidable medical, legal and campaigning expertise. And we all want to see the future of A&E at Cheltenham protected.”

David Perry commented:

“38 Degrees Gloucestershire are delighted to be part of such an influential group coming together to challenge our Clinical Commissioning Group to follow due process in arriving at decisions on behalf of the people of Gloucestershire. We look for far more transparency in future.”

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