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Column 29th June 2016

Facts about Wantage Hospital

Fact not fiction

Fact: The Wantage Community Hospital is scheduled to close to in-patients indefinitely over fears of Legionella bacteria in the water system.

Fact: Nearly 10,000 people (more than 9,700 to date) have signed a petition to keep our Community Hospital open.

Fact: Over 400 people marched through Wantage Town Centre recently to demonstrate their support for keeping the hospital open.

Fact: Although bacteria was present in the water system last year, action was taken and no bacteria have been detected this year and there is currently no risk to patients.

Fact: The work done to eradicate the bacteria is likely to last 12-18 months and the work could be repeated if bacteria were found.

Fact: The Oxfordshire Health NHS Trust have announced that they will close the in-patient facility to avoid having to move ill patients if the bacteria does reoccur.

Fact: The Trust managed to eradicate the bacteria in January without moving the patients.

Fact: Although the Trust have stated that they will keep Physiotherapy services at the Hospital open, the doors are locked and the lights are out.

Fact: The Trust have stated that Maternity Services will remain at the hospital.

Fact: Because of lack of maintenance in the hospital over the years, there is a large amount of remedial work that needs to be done to the building and it would be easier and cheaper to do this at the same time as replacing the water pipes.

Fact: There will be a NHS Public Consultation in the autumn which will influence the future of NHS services in Oxfordshire, the resulting plans will be announced next year.

Fact: No remedial works on Wantage Community Hospital will take place until the new plans for NHS services confirm that the hospital is part of the future (if it is). So the hospital will remain empty for at least 9 months.

Fact: the Trust tell us that the £300,000 that they believe the renovations will cost is available now.

These are facts.

The Trust want to close the hospital to in-patients now even through there is no risk to patients at the current time. They state that Maternity and Physiotherapy will remain open but their handling of the situation has meant that staff are worried about their jobs and without sufficient staff they will have yet another excuse to close these facilities. It appears that this situation has been very badly managed and we, the community who use the hospital services, are the ones to suffer.


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