PEOPLE are being urged to have their say on plans that could see the closure of a community hospital.
A consultation has begun into the future of Ashby District Hospital after it was identified by health chiefs as a site that could close as part of plans to modernise services in the area.
It costs around £1.8 million per year to run and West Leicestershire clinical commissioning group (CCG) and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust say it needs nearly £1 million spent on ‘essential repairs’, money they said could be better spent elsewhere.
A consultation document, Fit For The Future, stated: “Due to the age and design of the building, maintenance will continue to be a significant ongoing challenge and cost.”
Ashby District Hospital has 16 rehabilitation, palliative and respite care beds, a therapy facility and a number of clinics.
The Leicester Road site is also the base for district and school nurse team.
The CCG and trust are asking people to choose whether to continue with the status quo but make ‘better use’ of the hospital, or to invest in other clinics and health centres and provide more care in people’s homes.
Managers said changes to health services were necessary in part because the number of people aged 65 and over in the area which is expected to rise from 62,000 to 82,000 by 2021.
Dr Nick Willmott, from the CCG, anticipated 1,000 homes being built in Ashby over the next 17 years would place more pressure on health services.
If Ashby Hospital is retained, Dr Willmott said the number of outpatient clinics would be increased but there would be no additional investment in health services.
He said closing the hospital would save £1.1 million, which would be used to support investment.
The consultation ends at midnight on April 6.
More information is available online at www.westleicestershireccg.nhs.uk/