MP calls for Royston Hospital action
PUBLISHED: 15:38 05 September 2013
WE need action now. That's the message from Royston's MP after another summit with health bosses failed to shed any light on the future of Royston Hospital.
The hospital, on London Road, had been due to close this year and be turned into a privately run care home. But three months ago NHS Property Services, who own the site, said they were taking a “pause for reflection” to decide the best way forward.
This raised hopes among local people that the hospital could be redeveloped as a modern health facility for the town. The Royston Hospital Action Group (RHAG) has been running a campaign to keep the hospital open, and recently got the land listed as a community asset.
MP Oliver Heald attended a meeting on Friday with county councillors Fiona Hill and Tony Hunter, Dr John Hedges from RHAG and representatives of Clinical Commissioning Group (CATCH) who oversee health services in the area. However, NHS Property Services failed to attend.
Mr Heald said: “I was disappointed that they [NHS Property Services] did not attend this meeting. A ‘pause for reflection’ is one thing, but action to develop the site is now needed.
“They have met the local community groups and know what is wanted. This is not a case of going back to square one. We shall be writing to senior regional NHS officials to press for action.”
At the meeting, CATCH said it is prepared to continue to fund all existing clinical services, including intermediate care beds and is hoping to see improved facilities. The County Council is prepared to commission the building of an NHS/care home in accordance with the community’s wishes.
“Commissioners are prepared to pay for the services which Royston needs for the future and to look at new initiatives such as diabetetics, so it is now up to NHS Property Services to develop the new buildings needed on the London Road site,” said Mr Heald.
“We need action now.”
If the hospital is closed, health services for Royston are due to be transferred to Royston Health Centre, which had been earmarked for a £1million revamp. However, this has also been put on hold.