The Fielding Palmer Hospital – Meeting 6th June 2017.

Mrs Mary Guppy, opened the meeting with a brief history of the hospital. Then explained that ‘the committee’ were keen to keep the hospital open.

Whilst it was obvious that some of the people’s feeling were boosted by sentiment, there was some good rationale behind wanting to keep the hospital open.

Giuliana Foster explained how the building was too young to get a preservation order on it, although it is in a Conservation Area.

The Speakers gave a number of good reasons why a community hospital is preferred, especially in an area where the Industrial park is likely to be trebled in size and the population doubled and there are currently no plans to add any infrastructure to the area. Added to the increase in the ageing population adding demands to the roles that hospitals like the Fielding Palmer serve.

Giuliana Foster explained how the building was too young to get a preservation order on it, although it is in a Conservation Area.

Dr Sally Ruanne BA MA PhD of De Montfort University did give some detail as to the current underfunding of the NHS and explained that the suggestion of closing the Fielding Palmer was to reduce costs on the NHS, whilst in fact she strongly believes that the people of the area will get a worse service, threatening lives and a much more expensive service.

The average financial need for the NHS being approximately 4% over the rate of inflation, which the NHS has received, on average, between 1950 and 2010, yet since 2010 it’s only been 1% over the rate of inflation.

What wasn’t mentioned was the increase of 48% in managerial roles between 2010 and 2015.

When the responsible groups, the STP – Sustainable Transformation Plan and the CCG – the Clinical Commissioning Group were asked details under the Freedom of Information some very ‘non answers’ were given.

In particular the CCG stated they had ‘no knowledge’ of the £3Million pound quoted as the value of selling the site, when it was a figure that appeared in their own report.

When asked why the number of beds was reduced from 13 to 10, a number of reasons have been given, but none officially.

Mrs Linda Whittern, was very concerned about where and how people would be treated if the Fielding Palmer Hospital closed.

Mr Simon Hill, spoke about the various costs involved with the hospital including that a bed in the Fielding Palmer hospital cost less than in a main NHS Hospital indeed were it to be a 13 bed hospital about half the cost. And a fraction of the cost of a private nursing home. One should also remember that the hospital houses some 40 clinics each month as well as those bed.

Whilst Dr Penny Flaxman explained that the building is over 100 years old and is no longer fit for modern medicine and another of issues, none of these seemed to be forthcoming from either the STP, nor the CCG and I got the opinion that the decision to close, without suitable replacement of building, infrastructure or services had been made. The real reason where not being given; and indeed, the general public were just getting in the way and ought to leave them to do their job without quizzing them as they know best!

Dr Wallioo commented on this not being democratic.

Please note, the meeting’s duration was nearly 2 hours. These are what we consider to be the salient point.

The Lutterworth College allowed the use of their hall Free of Charge.