Care pro­posal ‘Keep our A&E open’ urges grate­ful ex-patient

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Robin JENKINS [email protected]­plc.com

APATIENT whose life was saved by the Ac­ci­dent and Emergency (A&E) de­part­ment at Chel­tenham Gen­eral Hospi­tal is des­per­ate for it to stay open.

The idea to re­move the hospi­tal’s emergency unit to make way for spe­cial­ist planned care on the site is part of a dis­cus­sion Glouces­ter­shire Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust wants to have with the public.

As part of this, an en­gage­ment ex­er­cise on the fu­ture of emergency med­i­cal care in Chel­tenham is underway.

The trust in­sists that a de­ci­sion has not been made but the pos­si­bil­ity that peo­ple from the Chel­tenham area may have to go to an­other town or city’s A&E de­part­ment has alarmed many peo­ple. Alex Chalk, Chel­tenham’s MP, has been par­tic­u­larly crit­i­cal of the way the trust has han­dled the mat­ter.

Heart patient Ste­wart Evans said: “I agree en­tirely with Alex Chalk’s ar­gu­ment for keep­ing Chel­tenham’s A&E de­part­ment open due to the cir­cum­stances I found my­self in on Au­gust 6.

“I be­gan ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what I thought was a very bad case of in­di­ges­tion but due to the sever­ity of the pain soon re­alised it was more than that.

“From ar­rival at Chel­tenham’s A&E de­part­ment to be­ing told it was a heart attack, be­ing taken straight to the­atre, hav­ing a stent fit­ted and ar­riv­ing in the cardio re­cov­ery ward, took less than an hour.”

The 61-year-old, who lives in High­nam, added that he was grate­ful to a large num­ber of staff who he is con­vinced saved his life through their

speedy and at­ten­tive care.

He said: “From ‘Glas­gow’ Mark, the doc­tor di­ag­nos­ing the heart attack, to be­ing taken to the­atre by Stu­art and Doc­tor Chamberlai­n-web­ber who put the stent in, to all the staff in the cardio ward in­clud­ing Car­rie, Kate, Jenny, Julie, Zoe, So­phie and Meghan, I can not thank you enough for all for the care and re­as­sur­ance you gave me.

“You are the rea­son the NHS is such a fan­tas­tic in­sti­tu­tion.

“Mark and Stu­art did not have to turn up in the af­ter­noon to check on me but they did. Ladies and gentlemen of the NHS, I thank you all.

“If A&E had not been there and I had to be taken to Bris­tol, I might not be sub­mit­ting this ac­count.”

Mr Evans said he had at­tended a fol­low-up ap­point­ment at Chel­tenham and again the staff were “just bril­liant”.

“I can not praise every­one con­cerned enough for all the care and ad­vice,” he said.

The trust has re­it­er­ated that no de­ci­sion has been made, and the public and staff will be con­sulted on any sig­nif­i­cant changes which fol­low from its en­gage­ment pro­gramme.

It pre­vi­ously said it would hold an “open dis­cus­sion” with residents on any changes un­der its Fit for the Fu­ture plan, which would ex­am­ine ur­gent and hospi­tal care across Glouces­ter­shire.

Ser­vices such as gen­eral surgery, gut surgery and im­age guided surgery are among ideas the trust wants to re­ceive the public’s views on.

The pe­riod of en­gage­ment will con­tinue through the au­tumn.

Ste­wart Evans in Chel­tenham Gen­eral Hospi­tal af­ter hav­ing a stent fit­ted

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