There is an urgent need for the completion of the Community Hospital. The first half took 25 years to complete; residents should not have to wait so long for the other half!
There is a need for an Accident Treatment Centre to deal with minor injuries; this will reduce the workload at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH). Fareham is one of the very few areas that has a projected increase in the birth rate BUT apart from QAH the only other provision is in Gosport. A birthing centre is therefore required as are beds for elderly care.
Following the closure of the Locks Road surgery, the Brook Lane practice has rented two consulting suites at the community hospital but cannot provide a service beyond 5.30pm although the Hospital is paid for by the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! The British Red Cross Medical Loan store has not been used since the Hospital was opened in 2010. The very efficient Phlebotomy (Blood) Service is only able to operate through the goodwill of the volunteers from the Friends of Fareham Community Hospital who take bookings and man the reception desk. Residents can have a consultant outpatient appointment and then require an MRI scan. Too often this is arranged at QAH even though a mobile scanner visits the community hospital at least once a week. Despite there being an ultrasound suite there is no ultra-sound machine! The main reasons for these problems are because there is not any one person (or NHS organisation) in charge at the Community Hospital, so it is difficult to get anyone to make decisions.
Cllr Seán Woodward who is among those who can justly claim credit for the development of the hospital having campaigned for its provision for the 25 years before it opened has been in dialogue with the Brook Lane Surgery, the CCG: “Despite these issues having been raised many times we do not seem to be seeing any progress. The local GP practice wants to do more in the hospital but is limited in terms of its open access clinics by the hospital opening hours. This hospital is a fantastic but an underused and incomplete asset. I will continue to work to urge the overcoming of the barriers to service expansion.”
Some residents have raised the issue of a bus service to the hospital. Unfortunately each option tried to date has not proven successful; a regular service on Brook Lane was withdrawn due to lack of use, as was a Taxi-share service. Cllr Woodward has raised the issue again with the local bus company and county council.