Monday, February 27, 2006

Surbiton Hospital - the shape of things to come?

The reaction to the PCT plans for the future of Surbiton Hospital, announced at their Board meeting on 30th September last year and further elaborated at a public session on 11th November, seems to have persuaded the members that the Surbiton Hospital site MUST have a future as a healthcare facility for Surbiton, and nothing else.

This point was made by me on 30/9 and by both myself and Nick Kilby on 11th November. I know that Ed Davey MP agrees with our stance, though sadly he was at neither meeting and his Lib Dem councillor colleagues attended only the second one.

Surbiton Conservatives, along with organisations like the Southborough Residents' Association, are developing thoughts about the shape of things to come on the site.

Here are a few thoughts of my own to be going on with.

Essentially I feel we need to look to rebuild as the old 1930s buildings are not really fit for purpose. We need to keep the spacious grounds around the built area, complete with trees etc. It would be good to relocate the three doctors' practices now bursting out of the Oakhill Health centre in less crowded conditions there. As the PCT itself is reducing its admin staff to save costs (lesson here for RBK??) the remainder might move out of their expensive accommodation on Hollyfield Road to a block on the hospital site. There must be outpatient facilities such as x-ray, minor surgery and physiotherapy - why not a gym to extend the physio work? And I believe we must get back the inpatient beds that have always been at Surbiton.

Something really good for Surbiton can come out of what might easily have been a repeat of the fate of the Eye Hospital. But we all need to get involved as a community in the plans for the future.

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