Bridlington Hospital: The fightback begins against ‘savage’ cuts

Beryl Powell, chair of Patients Participation Group at Bridlington Medical Centre Practice Three and Simon Barugh, chair of Patients Participation Group at Wolds View GP Practice
Beryl Powell, chair of Patients Participation Group at Bridlington Medical Centre Practice Three and Simon Barugh, chair of Patients Participation Group at Wolds View GP Practice

A new public survey has revitalised the campaign to protect and restore dwindling health services at Bridlington Hospital.

More than 600 people responded to the survey, run by Bridlington Health Forum, which aimed to find out how much local people knew about the extent of cuts and what they expected from their hospital. As a result of the findings, the town’s MP Sir Greg Knight has met health minister Matt Hancock to bring the situation in Bridlington to his attention.

The forum said that the results showed that:

○ 97% of people said services should be brought to Bridlington rather than patients being expected to travel long distances for treatment.

○ 95% said Bridlington needed better A&E facilities than an urgent care centre.

○ 91% felt Bridlington Hospital was treated unfairly when it came to cuts, compared to York.

○ 91% said there was not enough public information about changes to services.

○ 52% knew that only three wards were now open and six had closed in recent years and only 20% were aware that the number of beds at Bridlington Hospital had decreased from 219 to 66.

Jean Wormwell MBE, chair of Bridlington Health Forum. said: “Savage hospital ward and bed closures have devastated health-care in the town and have not happened in other hospitals.

“Increasingly, we have to make long and often painful journeys to York, Hull and Scarborough. The closures mean that there simply aren’t any beds left now just for local people.

“Even local rehabilitation beds have been cut, now patients and visitors are sent to Beverley.”

Mrs Wormwell said she and fellow campaigners had been heartened by how many people had replied to the online survey, which was carried out in March and April.

She added: “We are delighted that so many people have responded. The survey has helped to raise awareness of how very disadvantaged we in Bridlington have become compared to other Yorkshire towns and cities.

“Over 90% said there is not enough information.

“We have written to Sir Greg Knight seeking an urgent independent enquiry.

“The survey results show the level of discontent in the area. We have asked our MP Sir Greg to raise this matter in Parliament.

“It is time for local services to be restored and improved.”

Simon Barugh is chair of the Patients Participation Group at Wolds View GP Practice.

He said: “We need to guarantee the existence of Bridlington Hospital and continue to improve and upgrade the medical facilities, not only for the existing population and the large number of annual visitors, but for the security of the doctors, nurses and all other essential staff.

“We will need the unity of local patients’ groups, which I am working on at present, but also the support of our political representatives.

“The results of this recent questionnaire clearly show the amount of local concern.”

Beryl Powell, chair of the Patients Participation Group at Bridlington Medical Centre Practice Three, added: “Our wonderful hospital is slowly being closed down. This is such a terrible waste when local people really do need local services.”

The findings have been sent to Sir Greg and a letter from his office to the forum said: “This is just to let you know that Sir Greg has had sight of your emails and will be writing to you shortly.

“In the meantime, I can tell you that he has met with Matt Hancock personally and has drawn your concerns to his attention.”