Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 13:20 UK

Bid to save hospital unit fails

Val Compton
Val Compton believes the consultation process to close the unit was flawed

A campaigner hoping to save a minor injuries unit at a Wiltshire hospital has lost her High Court battle.

Val Compton, from Marlborough, who used to be a physiotherapist at the town's Savernake Hospital, believed there was still a need for the department.

Ms Compton's lawyers had told the court the consultation process to close the department was "flawed" and a report into the plan was "not independent".

Speaking after the judgement, she said she was "hugely disappointed".

Ms Compton told BBC News: "I'm quite heartened that he [Mr Justice Cranston] said that he's had no hesitation in expressing the view that the appointment of Red Bridge, the company that did the analysis of the consultation responses, and [that] the appointment of Red Bridge for the task was an error of judgement,

"At the moment I just feel terrible, but we will look at the complete judgement in greater detail later.

"We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to all four lawyers who have worked for free," Ms Compton added.

'Balance of services'

Wiltshire NHS said it was pleased the long-running case had been concluded.

Chief executive Jeff James said: "It's good also to see that the judge has concluded that the decisions we took were reasonable decisions and they were made in a fair way.

"I don't know that it's a hollow victory in that sense because I don't think we saw this as about winning and losing to be honest.

"I think we've recognised all the way through that in trying to get the balance of services right for the whole of Wiltshire we'd need to make some changes and that in some places those changes would be difficult for people to accept and that was the situation in Marlborough".

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