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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Hospital closure plans considered
Cranleigh Village Hospital sign
Hospital services in south-west Surrey are being examined
The proposed closure of a hospital in Surrey and the loss of beds at another hospital is being discussed by the local Primary Care Trust (PCT).

Following three months of public consultation, Guildford and Waverley PCT's board is considering the future of Milford Hospital, near Godalming.

Campaigners are also fighting to prevent the removal of all 14 beds from Cranleigh Village Hospital.

Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, said the PCT plans were "madness".

An extraordinary board meeting is being held in public at Guildford Baptist Church on Thursday afternoon.

It follows the PCT's consultation on its "Modernising your local healthcare" strategy.

This is devastating news for Milford
Jeremy Hunt MP

The trust said "future services must ensure that people continue to receive high quality and appropriate healthcare, while making substantial financial savings (a minimum of 1.5m)".

The option being discussed on Thursday includes:

  • shutting Milford Hospital

  • the closure of 24 beds at Cranleigh, Haslemere Community Hospital and Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health

  • there would be 27 beds that would remain at Haslemere and Farnham

  • the relocation of services from Milford, including 42 specialist rehabilitation beds going to Farnham

    Campaign signs outside Haslemere Hospital
    Haslemere Community Hospital has survived the axe

    Campaigners in Cranleigh said the move threatened "facilities for many thousands of future patients... on the Surrey/Sussex border".

    Mr Hunt, the local Conservative MP, said it was "devastating news for Milford".

    He added: "The tremendous campaigning by many people in Haslemere has paid off, but the news is bittersweet."

    Haslemere Community Hospital's League of Friends group produced almost 2,000 protest postcards during the consultation period.

    If the changes go ahead, the PCT wants them implemented by March 2008.

    It said bed closures would be countered with a range of alternative community services and that there were no planned staff redundancies.


  • SEE ALSO:
    Meeting fights hospital proposals
    07 Feb 06 |  Southern Counties


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