In the Council’s recent survey of residents, 94% of those who responded supported the Council’s stand, making it the most popular activity of the Council.
At the Council meeting on 20th February, members heard that, following a legal challenge in the High Court, NHS Gloucestershire agreed to reconsider its decision to transfer Stroud Hospital to a social enterprise company.
The action was brought by Michael Lloyd and backed by the campaign group Stroud Against the Cuts.
Town councillors had objected to the original proposals for the town hospital to be run by a social enterprise company. It organised a public meeting which more than 350 people attended.
As a result of the court challenge NHS Gloucestershire has agreed to reconsider the most appropriate way for the NHS services to be run in Stroud.
It also agreed to start a new process to explore the best option for providing community services and to “take reasonable steps to ensure a proper level of staff and public engagement concerning the process”.
Among the options, the services could be integrated with other NHS bodies including Great Western Ambulance Service, an NHS body from another county, and the existing NHS trusts in the county such as the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Another option could be to create a new standalone community health trust for Gloucestershire.
There remains concerns that the NHS services will still be transferred to a social enterprise company.
“The town council has been involved with this campaign from the start and will continue to take an active role in ensure our hospital and local health care staff remain in the NHS,” said town mayor John Marjoram.
“This has been a victory for the campaign and especially for Mr Lloyd. The case was not even heard by the High Court. NHS Gloucestershire backed down before the the hearing even started,” said Mr Marjoram.
The town council supports Stroud Against the Cuts in its calls for the board of NHS Gloucestershire to:
- Ensure the people of Gloucestershire are given a clear choice to keep these services within the NHS
- Ensure the decision-making process is fair, transparent and democratic and involves campaigners, patients, the public and healthcare professionals
- Make urgent approaches to the Department of Health to allow a stand alone trust to be considered as an option
A public meeting will be held at the Subcription Rooms on March 15 at 7.30pm to discuss how to carry on the campaign.