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Revamp for Fordingbridge Hospital which fended off axe
5:04pm Monday 30th July 2012 in New Forest
A HAMPSHIRE hospital is being given a major facelift costing more than £1m – seven years after controversial plans to axe the complex were thrown out.
Fordingbridge Hospital is being equipped with a new kitchen and the building’s heating, telephone and IT systems are being replaced. The scheme also includes improvements to the outpatients’ department, day room and dining area.
Health chiefs want to ensure that the facility, which treats mainly elderly patients, is given a major overhaul before the start of winter.
Seven years ago, the now defunct New Forest Primary Care Trust published proposals to close all five cottage hospitals in the district and treat more people in their own homes.
But the scheme was scrapped after the Daily Echobacked Save Our Community Hospitals campaign raised a petition signed by more than 40,000 people.
An independent report accused nurses of indulging in “unacceptable behaviour”
towards elderly patients. It also cited a “culture of insensitivity”
among employees who put their own needs above those of the people they were supposed to be looking after.
However, no-one was sacked in the wake of the investigation.
The redevelopment scheme is due to begin today, with Ford Ward closing again to enable the work to be carried out. Patients will be treated at other hospitals in the New Forest area, including Bournemouth and Salisbury, until the ward reopens in September.
Inger Hebden, director of capital planning and estates for the Southampton , Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP) Primary Care Trust Cluster, confirmed that the work would cause “some inconvenience” for people using the hospital.
Tracey Aldin, who manages Ford Ward, added: “It’s really exciting and at the same time a bit daunting when you consider the work being done.”