Decision delayed on future of Shire Hill Hospital
Thursday 7th December 2017 07:30 News Old Glossop Posted by Adam Higgins

There will be no final decision on the future of Shire Hill Hospital until the New Year, NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed.

NHS T&G CCG held a 12-week public consultation, which closed last month, with their proposed option to transfer intermediate care beds from the Old Glossop hospital to the Stamford Unit, close to Tameside Hospital, in Ashton.

If approved, it will result in Shire Hill, which has served Glossop for more than a century, closing. It also follows months of campaigning to keep Glossopdale’s last remaining hospital open.

READ MORE: Shire Hill under threat of closure

A decision was initially promised in December but it has now been announced that it will be delayed to “carefully consider the large amount of feedback from residents” among other reasons, meaning the future of the hospital remains uncertain.

NHS T&G CCG have also produced a report detailing initial analysis from the consultation’s responses.

Uncertain future: A ‘Save Our Shire Hill Hospital’ group was set up when the news about the NHS T&G CCG’s review of intermediate care in Tameside and Glossop came to light in the summer

In a statement, NHS T&G CCG said: “Thank you to all the local residents and stakeholders who gave their feedback on the review of Intermediate Care beds in Tameside and Glossop.

“Following the closure of the consultation on 15 November 2017, we are now in the process of analysing all the responses received.

“To give enough time to carefully consider the large amount of feedback from residents along with a range of other factors including legal, clinical and financial considerations, we have decided to postpone the decision on which option to take forward until the Strategic Commissioning Board in January 2018.

“In the meantime we have produced a short report for the Strategic Commissioning Board on 12 December 2017 with an update on the initial of analysis themes drawn out from the resident and stakeholder feedback.”

The report is available to view here: http://bit.ly/2iZFnaD

The Chronicle has contacted High Peak MP Ruth George for comment on the latest news.

The MP took the fight to save Shire Hill all the way to the House of Commons by handing in a petition of more than 5,000 signatures to Parliament, while the campaign has also made national headlines.

Campaign: Ruth George has spearheaded the fight to keep Glossopdale’s only remaining hospital open

Mrs George recently wrote an open letter, which you can read in full in this week’s edition of the Chronicle (out today, Thursday), in which she urged the CCG to give serious consideration to Glossopdale people’s feelings.

Two independently-chaired public meetings were also held in Glossopdale for residents to have their say to a panel featuring representatives from the NHS T&G CCG.

The Bute Street hospital has been described as “a godsend” with “dedicated” and “committed” staff who provide “excellent nursing care” by former patients.

READ MORE: Support for Shire Hill Hospital

While former Glossop GP Sir John Oldham, who is a national health expert, has claimed that the proposed intermediate care scheme would be “detrimental to the people of Glossopdale”.

Chris Webster, who represents Glossopdale on the council of governors of Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said the proposals make financial sense but don’t make sense from a moral or healthcare perspective.

But the NHS T&G CCG’s preferred option is to provide all bed-based Intermediate Care at the Stamford Unit off Darnton Road, which they say “offers single room en-suite accommodation with good public transport links, parking facilities and is easily accessible for patients and relatives.”

They added: “In doing this, we would improve the quality and accessibility of intermediate care for residents across Tameside and Glossop as a whole, while focusing on and investing in providing care at home wherever possible. It follows almost three years of discussion involving patients, the public and NHS professionals.

“It also means that patients can have closer access to the range of specialist services provided at the hospital should they be needed. One floor of the Stamford Unit has been designed to be dementia friendly with access to outside space and wandering routes, which will also enable us to provide care in a unit which is better equipped to support patients with dementia.”