The NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been investigating the needs of people living in and around Milford on Sea and the future vision of Milford on Sea War Memorial Hospital and to this end carried out surveys and public meetings in conjunction with the League of Friends to obtain the views of the population.
The preliminary report has been issued to the League of Friends and while the report is a detailed analysis of the views received and covers some 21 pages it seems appropriate to the League to share the initial conclusions with the residents of Milford
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“The information provided at the public listening events and in the survey demonstrated that there is considerable support within the local community for the continued provision of health and well-being services in Milford on Sea.
Some people were adamant that the war memorial status of the hospital means it should be retained and brought back into use. Others acknowledged the proximity to Lymington New Forest Hospital and wide range of service provided from there, so were open to the idea of the old hospital building being replaced with something smaller.
However, the key messages were that due to the higher than average age of the local population and poor public transport links, there is a need for some health and wellbeing services to continue to be provided ‘close to home’.
The need for beds was highlighted most frequently. People expressed concern about the impact of bed blocking due to the lack of step down / respite / convalescent / cottage hospital or end of life beds in the area and lack of availability of care packages. They were also concerned about not being able to visit relatives and friends in hospitals elsewhere and that care being provided at home left older people on their own more isolated and vulnerable.
When asked what services people would like to see provided locally, a huge variety of both health and wellbeing services were suggested – varying from antenatal services and those for children and families to services specifically aimed at older people. Local people also wanted to retain Milford Pharmacy.
The information provided is being considered by NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and will be used to help inform the next steps in the decision making process around the future of Milford on Sea War Memorial Hospital.
Further public engagement work will be undertaken to ensure the local community is involved in the decision making process.”
The Milford Hospital League of Friends will continue to work with the Commissioning Group and other interested parties to ensure that improved services are provided to the residents of the village and surrounding areas but to do so we need your help.
There is no doubt that whatever the outcome of the deliberations there will be a need for finance and although the League has, in the past, contributed hundreds of thousands of pounds to maintaining the medical services in the village it cannot contribute large sums to any future developments without the help of the community.
Membership of the League of Friends is open to all with Membership costing whatever you wish to contribute. I you are interested in becoming a member call the Membership Secretary Terri Boxall on 01590 641910 or if you are interested in hearing more about the report and possible outcomes why not come to the Annual General Meeting at the Community Centre on Tuesday 15th May at 3pm.