FOR all our communities to flourish, it is important that genuine public disquiet is neither ignored nor fostered by bulldozing opinions through our various decision-making mechanisms, including those relating to health and wellbeing.

It seems that Poole Hospital (serving so much of Dorset, not just the conurbation) could lose hundreds of beds as a result of plans to remove maternity services and full (round the clock) accident and emergency services to a proposed and more inaccessible site. Apparently both of the large conurbation hospitals are to act as one widespread hospital by requiring each site to specialise and provide their restricted services to an increased catchment area in a locality that has a congested road network having no ring road offering alternative routes. No wonder there is public disquiet, particularly concerning “golden hour” A&E services and all the extra journeys generating increased pollution during a declared climate emergency.

It is unclear why the conurbation (attracting so many visitors and expected to have so many other residents in the planned 50,000 extra dwellings) should not have two fully-functioning NHS hospitals rather than the equivalent of just one: other city regions do. Planners seem not to have fully appreciated the size and configuration of the coastal conurbation in Dorset – already pushing 500,000 and more than likely to exceed substantially that number plus visitors.

If planning is “sound”, why is Bournemouth hospital also seeking £72,000 in respect of 45 houses being proposed in Poole that, they say, will generate 324 anticipated hospital-based interventions. The planned 50,000e extra dwellings would create a Bournemouth hospital demand for about £80million (i.e. 50,000/45 x £72,000). Much work is required to allay the public disquiet.


Chairman, Poole and Purbeck Group of Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

Sundew Road, Broadstone