THE campaign to keep vital health services in Fleetwood has reached a new milestone.
More than 1,000 people have now signed a petition aimed at keeping rehabilitation facilities for older people at Rossall Hospital.
The Blackpool Commissioning Group, Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is looking into moving those services to St Annes’ Clifton Hospital, meaning a long trip for people in Wyre who need them.
But Coun Bill Barrow, Fleetwood town councillor with responsibility for health, says he is now “hopeful” the views of people in the port will be taken seriously.
He told The Gazette: “Obviously we’re getting towards the end of the public consultation periods with regards to the rehabilitation services.
“It causes great concern because of the travel implications.
“If we’re going to lose Rossall Hospital the great desire is for services there to be moved across to Fleetwood Hospital so we maintain the services like this locally.
“I’m hopeful they will listen to what we’ve said.
“I’m pretty sure we’re going to see the closure of Rossall Hospital.
“I’m not concerned about buildings, but I’m more concerned about the provision of services.”
The decision is currently under consultation and the proposals are set to be discussed at the next meeting of Fleetwood Town Council on January 29. And Coun Barrow is confident the number of signatures on the petition can be doubled before the end of the month.
He added: “There are petitions in a number of shops and other places so hopefully when we hand it over it will have at least 2,000 names on it.”
The hospital trust says it “strongly encourages” members of the public to make their views heard ahead of the decision.
A spokesman for the trust added: “This is a genuine consultation and we must stress that no decisions have yet been made about the future of any of the hospital sites. All responses to the consultation will be taken into consideration and we would strongly encourage members of the public to attend the public meetings where they will be able to find out more about the proposals in detail.
“The proposals have been developed by GPs and hospital clinicians and are aimed at providing better quality care and services for older people needing consultant-led rehabilitation services across the Fylde coast.”
Clinical representatives from the commissioning group and the hospital trust will be at all of the public meetings to answer any questions or concerns people may have.
The next meeting will be held at 2pm on Thursday January 10 at Blackpool Football Club, Seasiders Way.
Residents can also call the telephone hotline on (01253) 956722 or email email@example.com to have their say.