FOLLOWING earlier letters to your paper saying there should be major 24-hour A&E departments at both Poole and Bournemouth hospitals, there are two main arguments against this.

The first is that the most effective A&E centre has to be a fully manned 24/7 and have consultant-led A&E teams from all relevant specialities.

Neither Poole or Bournemouth A&E centres meet this NHS criteria, nor would the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, who fund local health services, be able to afford or justify two fully staffed 24/7 A&E centres seven miles apart, especially when Dorchester A&E is not a fully funded 24/7 service.

The second is the change in hospital planning from a county basis to an area basis.

I was involved in hospital planning and management, prior to 1974 with the Wessex Regional Hospital Board, post-1974 with the East Dorset Health District.

In the late 1950s, Dorset County Council were offered a new hospital with A&E and chose Poole as its location, although Dorchester would have been a more central site.

Post-1974 with Bournemouth now in Dorset, the Wessex region started planning on an area basis and a hospital with A&E was built in Dorchester.

Now the nearest A&E centres are Dorchester (25 miles away), Taunton (60), Yeovil (35), Salisbury(25), and Southampton(25).

How can two 24/7 major A&E centres be justified seven miles apart in Poole and Bournemouth?

The question as to whether the one 24/7 A&E centre should be sited at Poole or Bournemouth is a different matter.


Harewood Ave, Bournemouth