I AM writing
in response to the recent letter from Alex Whittaker where she attempts
to clarify some points about the new community hospital, which NHS East
Riding intends to build, despite being aware of strong opposition from
the majority of the residents of the Swinemoor Lane area.
In September last year, outline planning was granted by a handful of non-Beverley
based East Yorkshire councillors, despite a residents' petition of more
than 400 signatures against the hospital being built on the Swinemoor
site, which was handed in to the council offices prior to that council
As the spokesperson for the residents of this area, I have attended all
the community hospital liaison meetings since November last year.
Alex Whittaker has actually confirmed this community hospital will be
nurse-led, but she has failed to say that, unlike the Westwood Hospital,
which has about 12 beds, this nurse-led hospital will have 30 beds and
will serve a third of a million people, which will include the residents
of Driffield, Hornsea and surrounding areas.
How can she support high-quality services at Hornsea and Driffield, when
all their beds will go as soon as the new Beverley hospital has opened?
The facts are that the number of beds in the East Riding will be reduced
and people in rural areas will have further to travel - and at what cost?
I notice that Withernsea is not even mentioned.
She was at the May hospital liaison meeting, when I asked the primary
care trust to confirm whether there will be any resident doctors at the
new hospital. The reply I received from them was, "there should be
a doctor on site".
30 beds and not at all sure yet about GP cover? We are still asking them,
'Which GPs are going to take on looking after 30 patients?'
She has not denied this new hospital will not have an accident and emergency
department; a minor injuries is not an A&E. Again, at the last meeting
in May, I asked the question, "If a person residing in Driffield
has severe chest pains, which hospital will he be taken to? The reply
was, "Either to Scarborough, Hull or even York hospital." What
will happen to people who have heart attacks, fractures, sick children?
Despite her assurances the accident and emergency department in Scarborough
is not closing, there was a recent report in the press that this may be
The majority of residents want the Westwood Hospital, which served the
town well until they chose to close off one of the two entrances, to be
saved and improved, rather than sell this prime location site off, we
assume, for expensive housing with views of the Westwood.
Alternatively, the new hospital could be built on the ambulance station
site. This site is not as high flood risk and should have been the first
choice; even the primary care trust's matrix shows this site as very suitable,
but, we are told, would not have been granted planning by the council?
Why? The ambulances are there!
Alex reports that traffic volume has been surveyed and has satisfied the
agencies. This really is an incredible remark, since there are huge concerns
about the volumes of traffic expected to enter Swinemoor from both the
southern relief road and from the huge Flemingate development (given planning
approval last year) and now they decide to include a hospital on this
The message we have for our council on this occasion, is that the residents
will not give up and if we continue to be ignored and this hospital is
built on this site, then the lives of thousands of East Riding residents
will be adversely affected and we shall hold this council responsible.
Full information is available at www.noswinemoorhospital.co.uk
Sally De Bono,
Spokesperson for the residents
of the Swinemoor Lane and
Sigston Road area.