Health hub plan for Whitehill & Bordon gives residents the hump

Tuesday 28th June 2022 4:00 pm
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NHS question and answer session at Whitehill Town Council executive committee meeting at Oakmoor School on June 21st 2022. From left: Lisa Medway, Dr Zaid Hirmiz, Heather Mitchell, Sara Tiller, Dr Anthony Leung and Cllr Andy Tree.
Sara Tiller speaks at the meeting (Whitehill Town Council )

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Senior local NHS bosses were grilled by residents at Oakmoor School on Tuesday as they explained their health hub plans at a Whitehill Town Council executive committee meeting.

Many were disappointed that services proposed were mainly those provided at Chase Community Hospital and lacked major additions such as respite care beds, a minor injuries unit or a new x-ray machine.

Sara Tiller, managing director of the NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said respite care beds at Chase closed “a long time ago” and these were now commissioned at Petersfield Community Hospital if needed.

She added: “The x-ray machine at Chase is very old and there is an x-ray machine in Petersfield. We can’t have every service in every town and the demand is not enough to justify buying new equipment.

“There will be no minor injuries unit because we have upgraded Petersfield to an urgent treatment centre. We have been very clear all along about no minor injuries unit.”

But the poor public transport in Whitehill & Bordon – no railway station and few buses – was highlighted as a major problem if people had to travel to Petersfield or other towns for services not provided at the health hub.

There was even concern that many people who live on the ‘old’ side of the town could not manage the extra 0.7-mile walk from the Chase to the health hub in the regeneration area.

Ms Tiller said: “I’m hearing public transport is an issue and it’s something to pick up in the next phase with our Hampshire County Council partners and the voluntary sector, such as Dial-a-Ride.

“It’s a concern that comes up all over the county. Hampshire County Council controls the buses but we can commission the voluntary sector.”

Lisa Medway, the clinical commissioning group’s head of estates strategy and capital projects, said people going to the health hub by car would have to use public car parks, adding: “We need to work out how to provide it free for the health hub.”

To ensure stability of services, all tenants signing up for space in the health hub would have to sign a 25-year lease.

Ms Tiller said this was the same as at the Chase, adding: “We won’t want to commission exactly the same thing in 25 years’ time as technology, the workforce and patient needs will change.”

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