HEALTH campaigners have claimed another success in their fight against cuts at Bridport Community Hospital.

Trust bosses have made a concession and re-instated three diabetes clinics a month with consultants at the complex in their proposed changes rather than removing them.

The climb-down was revealed in a public meeting held at the Haddon House Hotel in West Bay attended by nearly 40 people.

It came after campaigners and residents raised concerns at an earlier public meeting at the Bridport Arts Centre.

Coun Ros Kayes, of the Community Health Campaign, said after the meeting: “This is a slow process but the pressure the community is bringing to bear is having an impact.

“Now the number of diabetes clinics to be cut has been reduced.”

Health officials at the meeting included John Morton, who is director of joint commissioning for NHS Dorset and Lyme Regis GP Forbes Watson, who is chairman of the shadowing clinical commissioning group board.

Others were Dorset County Hospital head of programme management Ian Triplow, NHS Dorset non-executive director Graham Aviss and Cara Southgate, who is head of community hospitals for Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust.

They stressed that there no plans to close the hospital and never had been.

Campaigners have gained 13,000 signatures on a petition to stop the cuts and thousands of people have filled in a survey about the impact of the changes.

Initially, there were concerns that a greater number of services were going to be cut when Dorset County Hospital revealed its plans in September.

In November, NHS Dorset agreed to continue to fund services to keep them going for an extra three months until July before the exact proposals were announced at the public meeting at the Bridport Arts Centre on February 10.

Mr Morton said that the impact was not as significant as might have been thought initially and that the way it was handled may have caused undue concern from last September to now.

Concerns raised at the meeting included transport time, difficulties and costs to get to DCH Dorchester as well as parking problems.

A task and finish sub-committee of the Dorset County Council health scrutiny committee is examining the proposals for its meeting at County Hall on April 10 at 10am, and all those who want to speak should contact the council’s democratic services department.

Call 01305 251000 for details.

How the move affects patients

FIGURES were revealed for the first time at the West Bay meeting about the number of people affected.

Nurse-led diabetes clinics would continue and three clinics a month with consultants would be held at Bridport. It affects 14 new patients, 140 follow-up appointments a year.

Colorectal nurse-led clinics, mainly dealing with irritable bowl syndrome, are being stopped and going to DCH.

It affects 189 consultation and 34 nurse appointments a year.

Orthoptist, mainly dealing with people with squints, are to be re-commissioned for Bridport from another provider yet to be agreed. It affects 111 nurse appointments, 17 new patients and 94 follow up appointments a year.

Nurse-led clinics in urology, respiratory and general medicine are stopping but clinics with consultants continue.

Theatre use is dropped from three days to two with surgery going back to DCH but the NHS Dorset aims to commission such procedures as diagnostics and endoscopy to keep it going. This will be reviewed after a year.

Some 213 DCH procedures a year are carried out at Bridport.