Wantage Community Hospital is scheduled to close in the summer due to Legionella bacteria in the water system. The NHS trust will not confirm the hospital will re-open after the repairs. Improvements have been made on the building recently and it is a concern that the ‘private’ care home next door will absorb the building. This hospital is vital to local people. The hospital was build from local fundraising and donations; it belongs to the people.
Here’s the link to a petition on change.org. Please read…
This letter was posted on Facebook a few days ago. As not everyone is on Facebook, the letter is reproduced here by permission.
Wantage Hospital has had treatment for Legionella for a some time… This is unlikely to be anything new in old buildings, in fact it is probably a common in older buildings. The measures taken, are controlling it and since there is no emergency closure and they clearly state there is no risk to patients… I wonder why planned and funded maintenance would lead to permanent closure?
Up until yesterday, the staff who had heard nothing, were shocked at the closure announcement as they had been led to believe it was a closure for work to be carried out. It was a blow to their future hopes and even a threat to their careers for some.
The “management announcement” said they do not want to risk patient health, yet they have a plan for a 6 week closure program. Surly if it was that much of a risk to health it would close today!
Also they have delayed the public consultation until the Autumn apparently due to the IN/Out referendum, however this could mean that the building water supply pipes would remain dormant for many months. The temporary measures keeping legionella under control will probably not be done, so this will allow the problem to return maybe even uncontrollably. My thoughts are this is “the plan” … allow the problem to get so bad that there is no other option but permanent closure.
Also puzzling is that in the last couple of years, the roof has been completely replaced at a huge cost that probably dwarfs the cost of new plumbing. By the way, the hospital worked as usual throughout this work.
In the last few months many £1000’s has been spent of re-furbishing the kitchen following the change from home cooked meals the hospital was so proud of, to a cook/chill system.
Several rooms, have been redecorated, and the program of work was ongoing, along with routine maintenance.
Only last year the patient garden had a make over which made it safe and nice for patients. This garden will not now be enjoyed this summer.
Wantage Hospital has been making a great contribution to the bed blocking problem, so high in the news these days. The local staff & local management work hard to take an extra patient or two when the pressure is on.
Many may not be aware that Wantage people actually paid for the hospital by raising the total build cost of over £10,000 and fitting it out, way back in 1927. So as it belongs to Wantage, we need a say?.
Finally because of the kind and caring staff, many patients have left legacy’s in their will to the hospital, where will this fund vanish to?
Wantage is loosing and has lost so many old buildings lately and with so much new development that will threaten the community spirit with sudden influx of new families and a lack of planned infrastructure. I wonder what will happen!