Gloucestershire

Residents reject plan to close two Forest of Dean hospitals

Dilke Hospital
Image caption The hospitals in Dilke, in Cinderford, and Lydney currently have 47 beds - the proposed new hospital would have a "minimum of 24 beds"

Plans to close two community hospitals and build a new £11m facility have been rejected by Forest of Dean residents.

Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust's "preferred option" was to replace Lydney and Dilke, which are not "fit for purpose", with a new hospital.

But following a public consultation the proposal, which could halve the number of beds, was rejected by 46 percent of respondents compared to 43 percent.

The NHS Trust said it will review all feedback before any decisions are made.

The hospitals in Dilke, in Cinderford, and Lydney currently have 47 beds - the proposed new hospital would have a "minimum of 24 beds".

More than 3,000 people took part in the survey as part of a 12 week consultation.

Some 1,425 backed the idea but 1,530 rejected the plan citing the reduced number of beds and the need for two hospitals to cover such a large area.

Image caption Protests over the future of the Lydney and Dilke Hospitals took place outside the Shire Hall in Cinderford on Tuesday

Owen Adams, from protest group Hands Off Lydney and Dilke hospitals, said it was "great news".

"The majority of people have said 'no' to the proposal to close the hospitals, so we will be demanding that the CCG and the NHS Trust listens to the people," he said.

"Round one to us but we really need to win the whole battle - that's our aim."

In a statement, the NHS Trust said: "We will review and carefully consider all of the feedback received from members of the public, staff and community partners before any decisions relating to the preferred option are made."

The trust and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group are due to consider the report at a board meeting on 25 January.

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