We show here a letter we have sent to the Health Secretary about the closure of the local hospitals.

We have concentrated on Lydney Hospital as this one is more local to us and we felt that if letters were sent to the Rt Hon Matt Hancock ([email protected]) on an individual hospital basis we may have a better response.

We and many people we have spoken to can’t understand why there hasn’t been more of a fight to keep these essential facilities open:

Dear Sir, I wish to draw to your urgent attention and consideration the intention of the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (thereafter called the NHS) authorities decision to close our local hospital at Lydney in favour of a new planned community one at Cinderford.

I believe this case is unusual and worthy of your consideration and intervention in this instance.

The local authority have behaved reprehensibly in that they offered the locals a vote to either close or retain it.

The majority of the people elected to retain it.

Having spent many thousands of pounds of patients care funds administering this vote for the option, they then reneged on this, refusing the outcome, ignoring democracy and not accepting the outcome of the choice which was offered by them.

They should have respected the people’s wishes and backed down, but instead they decreed that democracy would not prevail.

They initiated the ballot with regard to giving people the choice and option for keeping ……then ran roughshod over it.

The proposed hospital does not have as many beds as the two local hospitals due to be closed and apparently will not even have palliative care.

Instead it says that this care should be found at the local hospice which is a charity, and if this is the case then this charity should be given funds by the NHS to provide this care which, of course, needs specifically-trained nursing staff and so much more.

It will mean a 20 to 30-minute drive for the populace concerned on poorly maintained Forest of Dean B roads for hospital visits and treatment including minor A&E, making it expedient to go to Gloucester Hospital instead – an already extremely busy hospital

Lydney is rapidly expanding, with large new housing estates expanding the size of the town, and needs this facility now more than ever, which has served the community well with first class treatment on the doorstep.

Lydney Hospital is situated in a very convenient position with pleasant views, but has been reduced over recent years with the operating theatre being closed, fewer consultants visiting for out-patients, maternity ward closing, etc, and allowed to run down generally.

It feels like this has been done to suit an agenda to close the much-loved facility.

The love and appreciation of Lydney hospital has been shown throughout generations by the money given to the Friends of Lydney Hospital via donations, bequests, and fetes, etc, along with the volunteers who help.

I do hope you will agree that their decision is untenable given the circumstances, and sincerely hope that you would look into this matter and intercede with regard to them reversing the decision of the local people.

– Philip and Briony Barr, Lydney.