Residents urged to attend meeting on the future of Stamford Hospital

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A COUNCILLOR has urged people to attend a meeting on the future of Stamford Hospital.

The Peterborough and Stamford Hospital Trust’s board of directors will discuss the development of the hospital on Tuesday and the public are welcome to attend.

Stamford town and South Kesteven district councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) wants anyone concerned about the future of the hospital to go to the meeting.

He said: “I would really like as many people concerned about Stamford Hospital to attend the meeting to see what is going on and to ask questions.

“There are things that need to be brought to the attention of the public.”

Coun Bisnauthsing is particularly concerned about the potential closure of the pathology lab.

The trust is considering closing the department and moving blood and urine analysis services to Peterborough City Hospital.

It has repeatedly insisted that patient services will not be affected and the busy phlebotomy service would be retained, so blood would still be taken at the hospital.

Urgent tests would be done on point-of-care machines for immediate results, with more detailed analysis done later at Peterborough City Hospital.

But Coun Bisnauthsing is worried closure could affect waiting times and could lead to further services being lost.

He added: “If they take the pathology lab and there is something urgent coming in they will have to take the blood to Peterborough City Hospital, get it scanned there and then get the results back. It will take a lot longer.

“This is a really trivial saving. It is not conducive for senior citizens to go to Peterborough.

“We have a growing population. We need to have a hospital.”

It is hoped the meeting will also clear up the future of the John Van Geest ward, which reopened in January after a £97,000 refurbishment. It was forced to close in August last year after four patients contracted a superbug.

The ward’s 22 beds were used to treat patients during the busy winter period but the trust has refused to confirm if it will stay open permanently.

The meeting will take place from 10am to midday in Stamford Hospital’s meeting hall.