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1,500 letters of support for Christchurch Hospital scheme
THANKS have been given to Christchurch residents for supporting revised plans for the local hospital.
Just a week before the Christchurch Hospital scheme is due to go back to the council’s planning committee, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Trust have expressed their thanks for more than 1,500 letters they have received so far.
The multi-million-pound application, which is now recommended for approval by planning officers, has undergone a number of changes since it was refused at a previous planning committee in January.
But trust bosses still insist the priority is to retain services at the Christchurch site.
These will include the Macmillan Unit, blood services, X-ray and imaging department as well as outpatients.
As well as a GP surgery, assisted living accommodation and a care home, 78 key worker houses have also been proposed for the site, which if approved, will see the demolition of the historic H Block – a former workhouse infirmary.
The trust claims more than 1,500 letters of support have been lodged as well as two signature petitions sent to the council, with the deadline for comments extended to March 14.
Richard Renaut, director of service development, said: “We would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to the public, our patients and our staff for taking time to support this application.
“The figures we have received show that the feedback sent to the council is around 100:1 in favour of the proposal, which is excellent news.
“This development would not only secure NHS services at Christchurch Hospital but will also create 80 new jobs long term and bring a £30m boost to the local economy.
“If the application is not approved at the meeting next week, essential funding for the GP practice, which forms an integral part of the plans, will be lost. It is not too late for you to show your support so please do write to the council and have your say.”
Funding for the proposed GP practice had been approved by Dorset Primary Care Trust (PCT), subject to planning consent.
However at the end of March, the PCT will be abolished as part of national health reforms. It is not known what process the successor body – the National Commissioning Board – will use to make investment decisions, but the whole process will have to start again, the trust said.