FOR all our communities to flourish it is important that genuine public concerns are neither ignored nor fostered by bulldozing opinions through our various decision-making mechanisms, including those relating to the health and well-being of all those affected.

The principal concerns are:

1: ‘Essential and timely access’

Moving emergency services (including significant maternity services) from Poole, where they are just about accessible within the crucial “golden hour” for so many in Dorset (not just the conurbation), to the far east of the conurbation suggests increased risks of harm imposed by any such move – inconsistent with protecting the health and well-being of communities.

2: The climate emergency and the need to reduce journeys

The reduction in access points to hospital services (generated by transforming two hospitals into one hospital with two specialized sites) has been reasonably estimated to create 1.5million extra journeys involving the congested conurbation.

3: Additional pressures upon social services

Since the number of hospital beds in Dorset are to be reduced by several hundreds, it seems implicit that the NHS expects the risk of ‘bed blocking’ to be removed.

Also, Covid-19 has taught many local authorities that their own responsibilities, capabilities and resources need to be adequate to support initiatives authorised for “progress” (not necessarily without suitable adjustments) by a government minister.

In this connection, it has been noted that Bournemouth hospital seeks money from housing developers, apparently because their current proposals relate to current circumstances and do not cater for the 80,000 extra houses across Dorset that local authorities are required to deliver.


Chairman, Poole & Purbeck Group of Dorset CPRE