WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

The Value of Community Hospitals

The results of a study conducted by the University of Birmingham into the role of community hospitals, patient experience and the relationship which community hospitals have with their local community was released on 22 January 2019. For details see Study on community hospitals.

They analysed 267 community hospitals with beds across the country.
The findings showed that people described a holistic and personalised approach to care and said that it felt different being a patient in a community hospital compared with elsewhere: it felt more like home because of its location and familiarity, environment and atmosphere, and the relationships between staff, patients, families and the community.

Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care and Head of School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham said:
"Our study shows how community hospitals are contributing to 'community value' through important functions within the communities in which they serve. When difficult decisions are made about funding and future service provision for community hospitals therefore, policy makers need to take into account a broader notion of value, focusing equally on the ‘value’ to patients and communities as on the money ."

This confirms exactly what the residents of Wantage and Grove have been saying since the minor injuries unit in Wantage Community Hospital was temporarily closed in 2002 and the in-patient facilities temporarily closed in July 2016. We want our hospital re-opened so that it can play the important role it has in our community again!

Wantage Hospital

Wantage Hospital

Garston Lane, Garston Lane, Wantage, OX12 7AS
Tel: 01235 205801

The hospital is "temporarily" closed to inpatients and the mid-wife led maternity unit doesn't have sufficient staff to allow births at the hospital. Some outpatient services are operating. See the quote from Oxfordshire Health Trust.

NHS Oxfordshire are now doing their third project to identify the future health and care needs for OX12 and will suggest how the Hospital should be used in future. We are represented on the stakeholder group in this project. Any significant change in use of the Hospital must be subject to a statutary consultation.

It's Our Hospital - We Want It Back!

An article in the "i" on Saturday 18 August 2018 suggests that many other community hospitals are having similar problems to Wantage.
The Fight to save NHS Community Hospitals

Nearly 1,000 people attended the Save Wantage Hospital Rally in the Market Place on Sunday 22 July 2018. A very peaceful march hiding a depth of feeling. Many of these people were born in the hospital and even more have been treated there in the past. They want to be able to use it again.

After the march we wrote again to the Chairman of HOSC (Oxfordshire Health, Overview & Scrutiny Committee) to express our concern :

He responded much more quickly than he had in the past.

From That's Oxfordshire
To see the earlier video please click the button
From That's Oxfordshire


Wantage Community Hospital was opened in 1927 and replaced Wantage Cottage Hospital in Belmont. It was paid by the community.
Wantage Community Hospital became part of the NHS in 1948. We remained responsible for the building and equipment with the NHS providing the staff. Local people raised the money to install the lift, build the day rooms and install an X-ray unit.
In 1974 the Hospital was handed over in good faith to the NHS for them to run it. The League of Friends continued to provide for patient comfort and paid for the first birthing pool in Oxfordshire.
Our Community Hospital has been threatened twice before in 1998 and 2006 yet survived.
Its minor injuries unit closed temporarily in 2002 and has yet to reopen.
The in-patient beds closed temporarily in 2016 because of the threat of Legionella bacteria in water pipes and have yet to reopen (Legionella had been found in the hospital at the beginning of 2016 without closing wards and has happened in the JR Acute Care Hospital in Oxford without closing wards).
Physiotherapy moved out in 2017 due to lack of communication in the Health Trusts.

The hospital currently only provides mid-wife led maternity services. All other services have been closed.

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