Campaigners protest outside County Hall over hospital cuts

Defend Dorset NHS have been lobbying the Dorset Health Scrutiny committee in Dorchester County Hall.

The group, formed by Purbeck residents and other groups in Dorset, put forward their reasons for saving Poole A&E, Maternity and Paediatric departments.

Local campaigners protested at 9:30 this morning outside Dorchester County Hall to fight the closure of departments in Poole Hospital.

The meeting with the Health Scrutiny Committee started at 10am this morning where the public are invited to speak and make petitions.

Debby Munkhouse, Swanage’s Labour Party Branch Secretary and member of Defend Dorset NHS told the Breaker her conclusions on the meeting:

“The Health Scrutiny committee are going to set up a taskforce to review and manage the judicial review. Today they said the didn’t think the process would be completed until their next meeting in June.”

Defend Dorset NHS is a group formed by residents, mainly from Purbeck, but other groups in Dorset are supporting them.

“We in Purbeck cannot access emergency services in Bournemouth within the golden hour even by blue light ambulances. I think 20 to 30,000 people would be affected by the A&E closure.”

The golden hour is the first hour (depending on each case) after a traumatic injury. If medical attention is given during this time period, it has the highest possibility of not resulting in death.

Mrs. Munkhouse also said they have to raise another £10,000 to cover the costs of the full hearing.

This comes after an unsuccessful review plea at the end of last year.

The Council’s stance

Councillor Bill Pipe said there was no specific discussion concerning the changes in Poole Hospital:

“There was a general conversation, with members of the public in attendance, about the Clinical Services Review as a whole in Dorset, which includes services provided at Poole General Hospital, Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Dorset County Hospital and community hospitals.”

A new hearing date is still to be set.

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