Wiltshire Publications

Westbury healthcare ‘far from forgotten’

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 at 11:51 am.

Extra services to improve healthcare in the town are being considered by Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working closely with the White Horse Health Centre.

Representatives from Wiltshire CCG spoke about the plans at a meeting of Westbury Town Council, held on Monday 5th March. They promised  a thorough review of local health services.

It came after the CCG strategic plan for health services in West Wiltshire, released last July, failed to mention Westbury, which attracted criticism from local health campaigners who felt  the town was being ignored.

At last week’s town council meeting, Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a GP from Market Lavington and chair of the CCG, spoke alongside Linda Prosser, interim chief officer of Wiltshire CCG to talk through the future of healthcare in Westbury.

Dr Sandford-Hill said, “As part of our strategic outline programme, (to look at the services in need across healthcare in Wiltshire) we only looked at north Wiltshire, not Wiltshire as a whole – it became obvious to us that this shouldn’t have been done in isolation, so we have now commissioned a company to look at what services are needed across the whole of Wiltshire.”

Linda Prosser continued, “We don’t anticipate on replicating the old hospital site here in Westbury. But, there are service gaps in all areas. We have been working with the White Horse Health Centre, which we think is one of the best in Wiltshire, to see what services can be brought more local to the residents.

“It isn’t a centre that is causing red flags to us here at the CCG in terms of staffing issues or resilience problems. It is predicted that the centre will be able to cope with developments and capacity increases until 2025.”

Erica Watson, chair of the League of Friends, questioned the status of the health centre which is a primary care centre. She said, “I don’t believe that the White Horse Health Centre can be called a primary care centre. Yes, it has GPs, but it doesn’t have a minor injuries unit and therefore cannot be classed as primary care like the one in Trowbridge.

“The district nurses aren’t based in Westbury, they come from Warminster Hospital, so it’s not an all-singing, all-dancing health centre.”

The CCG responded with, “There aren’t going to be any new buildings in Westbury. We don’t justify having minor injuries units dotted around the county just on their own. Those minor injuries should be treated more locally, by more general healthcare professionals, taking the workload away from the GPs.

“That is what we are trying to do, trying to get primary care centres to offer minor injury services. It will be a far better use of our money to offer minor injuries’ services locally, rather than to spend it on minor injuries units in locality destinations.”

Linda Prosser continued, “Services you can expect from a primary care centre, for example, minor injuries, minor illnesses and walk-in services, are something we are looking into commissioning across Wiltshire, including Westbury. We want people to be able to access all the services within the same travel times. It’s all down to the staff we can recruit and the money we have to spend and the availability of doctors and nurses.”

Wiltshire CCG is now looking across the county to highlight areas that are in need of help and will report back to the public in the autumn. Linda Prosser from the CCG  said the message is, “Westbury is far from forgotten.”

What do you think?

Email news@whitehorsenews. co.uk or write to 31 Market Place, Melksham. SN12 6ES

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