Biggleswade Hospital is likely to stay open and plans for its future could be revealed this month.
The Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) has almost completed its beds review at the hospital and in Chronicle Country at large.
Last year campaigners pressured Bedfordshire PCT and care provider the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) for answers following ongoing rumours that the hospital was due to close.
Declining patient numbers led many to believe that the hospital faced an uncertain future. But then the BCCG announced it would be conducting the beds review to look at service requirements throughout the area.
In a letter to anti-closure campaigner Ken Lynch, BCCG chief operating officer John Rooke gave the strongest indication yet that the hospital’s future is safe.
He said: “I am pleased to say that we will complete our proposals in March and these will be presented at meetings of the local authorities.
“I am pleased to tell you that in the future we continue to want to make full use of the beds at Biggleswade Hospital.
“We will be reinforcing this in our contract with our provider, SEPT, for the financial year beginning in April.”
Ken said: “I was delighted to receive the letter and this is brilliant news. I was very glad to hear it.”
Councillor Carole Hegley, executive member for social care, health and housing at Central Beds Council said: “We are pleased that the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group have indicated that they have no plans to close Biggleswade Hospital.
“When we discussed the issue with local people and the providers last year it was clear that residents really value being able to access the services the hospital offers close to home.”
Writing on the Biggleswade Chronicle Facebook page, readers welcomed the news.
Claire Smith said: “My mum had the best care there before she passed away –wouldn’t have wanted her to go anywhere else.”
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Weather for Biggleswade
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 14 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: East