BEVERLEY: Campaign group starts fresh petition over hospital

A petition campaign has been launched against the controversial site for Beverley's £18 million community hospital in Swinemoor Lane.


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CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition against the controver¬sial site for Beverley's £18 million new com¬munity hospital.

They claim a previous 400-plus name petition was lost by East Riding Council and not taken into account when the scheme was granted outline planning permission for land off Swinemoor Lane last year.

Campaigners from the No Swinemoor Hospital protest group are now collecting a new petition in Beverley, Driffield and Hornsea, which will all have hospital beds relocated to the site.

They aim to present the petition to the council at the next stage of the planning process.

Spokeswoman Sally De Bono claims health officials should drop the plans for the Swinemoor Lane site and improve existing hospitals and services instead.

Ms De Bono said: "They are wasting money. If we were going to get a really good hospital which supplied everything we needed perhaps we would have put up with it being in the wrong place, but the awful thing about it is it will not be a proper hospital."

The 30-bed community hospital will be nurse-led and supported by local GPs during the day.

During evenings and weekends it will be suppor¬ted by the out-of-hours service which will have its base at the new hospital.

But Ms De Bono claims Beverley Westwood Hospital, which could be sold off for housing or hotel development, should be improved with other local hospitals.

Alternatively, she says the new hospital should be built near Beverley's new ambulance station where the land is not high flood risk.

Melanie Iredale, programme director for NHS East Riding Of Yorkshire defended the plans.

She said Westwood Hospital has access problems and the listed status of some of its historic buildings limits what can be done.

She said: "The new hospital will be built for what we want to deliver.

"At the moment we have small 12-bed wards on a number of sites, so what we have proposed is one large 30-bed ward and other facilities. This is an improvement on what people have got, it's not a backward step."

She also insists measures will be in place to protect the hospital from any flooding.

East Riding Council says it has no record of receiving the previous petition opposing outline planning permission. A spokesman said: "There were a large number of responses receivedand these were all carefully considered by planning councillors."