A PLAN to move out-of-hours surgery from Cheltenham General Hospital seven miles away to Gloucester has been slammed by almost 60 consultants and senior doctors as ‘not safe’ and the ‘catastrophic’ move has been described by one doctor as a ‘plane crash about to happen’.
The 60 consultants and senior doctors have written to Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive about their concerns. The letter states patients who develop internal bleeds, sepsis or abdominal pain overnight or at the weekend would be at risk if surgeons were based in Gloucester.
The trust plans to move emergency and inpatient general surgery to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital a distance of at least seven miles away.
One doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘We can see a plane crash about to happen.
‘It’s going to be catastrophic. ‘The trust doesn’t realise the detail in their plan. It’s not safe.’ Cheltenham General is the only hospital in Gloucestershire treating urological, gynaecological and orthopaedic patients as well as providing chemotherapy cancer treatment.
Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk is against the trust’s proposal and said he would raise the issue in Parliament. He said: ‘I think it’s an extremely bad idea, and more importantly we have this unprecedented situation where almost 60 medical professionals say it’s a bad idea. ‘This is nothing to do with money.
‘This is about organisation and the key medical advice is that it’s better to keep general surgery in Cheltenham to support other treatments.’