Increasing the services at Fareham Community Hospital is one of my priorities.
We all know how difficult it can be to get a GP appointment when you need one – and I’ve now seen for myself how acute the pressure is on local practices. Whilst there aren’t any simple solutions, it is my strong view that getting more services into Fareham Community Hospital would make a big contribution. If we had more walk-in services there, providing routine treatment and consultations with nurse practitioners, for example, it would ease the pressure on GPs and emergency admissions. Much of the pressure on QA that we’ve seen recently comes from people who could be treated elsewhere, but cannot get an appointment or don’t have a walk-in service nearby. Instead, they’re calling an ambulance or attending A&E. If we could offer more treatments locally in Fareham, we could help ease both sides of the problem – GP appointments and hospital admissions at QA.
I have raised this issue personally with the Government and was very pleased to welcome the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt to see Fareham Community Hospital for himself. He met with members of my Taskforce to discuss a strategy of more effective use. Jeremy said; "It was extremely useful to sit down with the key people in the local health economy. They have some really exciting ideas to deliver better care and to properly join up health and social care. I look forward to helping where I can and have asked to be kept updated on progress through Suella Fernandes."
I established Fareham Community Hospital Taskforce to plan provision of health services in Fareham and look at the use of Fareham Community Hospital. The group, comprising senior executives from local health authorities, patient groups and local representatives has met to discuss issues including GP services, the role of the voluntary sector, and how to increase community bed capacity to ease patient flow at QAH. A key issue has been current usage of Fareham Community Hospital, and plans for its future. Suella has made campaigning for extra services at the hospital a key priority, and has raised the issue with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who visited the hospital last month at her invitation to discuss these issues with the taskforce.
Amongst the organisations represented are Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospital NHS Trust, Solent NHS Trust, NHS Property Services, and the Friends of Fareham Community Hospital.