MEMBERS of an Ashbourne pressure group have vowed to seek further answers over the ‘major under-use’ of Ashbourne’s £20 million hospital.
Ashbourne and District 50+ Forum members have invited three top NHS bosses to explain how they intend to see services used to capacity at the Clifton Road hospital, which was first identified as being under-used in a report published last year.
Since the report, steps have been taken and improvements have been made but 50+ Forum members say more needs to be done and they are looking forward to welcoming the representatives to their meeting next week.
Tracy Allen, chief executive officer of Derbyshire Community Health Services which provides the services to the hospital; Andy Layzell, chief Officer of South Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group which provides the money for these services and Susan James, chief executive of the Royal Derby Hospital which provide the consultants for clinics have all confirmed their attendance.
A spokesman for the forum said: “The seriousness of the situation at St Oswald’s Hospital is reflected by the senior people in the NHS who have agreed to attend our open forum.
“We remain extremely concerned about the under-use of St Oswald’s Hospital and are committed to ensuring the hospital is used to its optimum capacity. The report in January 2012 stated it was concerned about the under-utilisation of both in-patient and out-patient departments.
“This was confirmed by the extensive questionnaire and by speakers at our open forum in July 2012. “Since that time the ward has steadily increased their occupancy.
“We hope the parties involved will work together to find a prompt solution to the unacceptable situation of a major under-use of our new, modern and superbly fitted hospital.”
Police and crime commissioner Alan Charles is also due to speak at the meeting, which will be held in the Elim Pentecostal Church, Waterside Park on Friday, November 15 from 10am.