Speaking on behalf of the HOLD Campaign as Press Liaison, Zac said:
The Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust will face a Judicial Review, funded and supported by the community of the Forest of Dean, when they make the decision to close Lydney and Dilke Memorial Hospitals. Or they could just scrap the proposal now and save us all some money!
Lawyers for the CCG and GCS, have now replied to our pre-action letter. They have assured us that the decision has yet to be made to close the hospitals. They have been made aware of HOLD’s major concerns on the decision-making process in connection with the proposed option to replace the two hospitals with an unspecified new £11m facility in a yet-to-be decided location. Public donations of more than £4,000 have paid for this initial “pre-action” legal stage, with half remaining in reserve to pay towards further legal work.
HOLD will next need to get pledges of £30,000 in funding for the whole process, should the CCG and GCS continue to ignore the opinion of the majority of the community rather than doing the right and democratic thing by scrapping its proposals and instead investing its £11m in improving the existing hospitals and their sites.
HOLD calls on the CCG and GCS to abandon its plans and reverse its hugely unpopular, unreasonable and irrational initial decision to replace the two hospitals, and instead consider the option of joint investment and improvement of the Lydney and Dilke Hospitals as the preferred option.
HOLD is also calling for an assurance from the CCG and GCS that various care in the community programmes it is funding will be additions to, rather than replacements of, existing community hospital and healthcare services, including beds. Both sides will be anxious to avoid litigation, but HOLD is not prepared to compromise its aims.
HOLD would like to thank everyone who has supported us so far, which is a growing number of people and businesses. While the threat of legal action now hangs over the CCG and GCS in its decision-making, we will need to keep up the public pressure as well.
We urge people now to lobby their councillors and MP, organise fundraisers and help raise awareness, and join in any demonstrations until we achieve our aims.
We once again urge the CCG and GCS to listen to the people served by the NHS and what they want, abandons its proposals and commits to investing in the Dilke and Lydney Hospitals, rather than obliging us to take costly legal action.”