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West Somerset fight to stop hospital bed closure 

Location: UK » South West » TA

CIVIC leaders in Watchet have thrown their support behind a campaign to save vital facilities at Williton Community Hospital.

Health chiefs sparked an outcry late last year when they announced the closure of one of the hospital’s two wards, cutting the number of beds from 45 to just 20.
At a meeting called by Williton Parish Council, representatives of NHS Somerset and the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust insisted the move would free up space and staff to provide a range of additional services, such as blood transfusions, intravenous drug treatments and other day care facilities.

But Watchet Town Council voted unanimously to support Williton councillors in their pledge to monitor the situation.

At its monthly meeting on Monday the Watchet authority agreed to write to health chiefs to reiterate the importance of the hospital to the local community and wider West Somerset area.

Councillors - many of whom had previously voiced their concerns at the Williton meeting - also backed a move to work closely with Williton Parish Council and enlist the support of other parish and town councils across the district.

They said they wanted to ensure that local people were not sent to other community hospitals, such as South Petherton at the other end of the county, because of any shortage of beds at Williton.

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