Tonight the Town Council held a meeting concerning Shepton Mallet's Community Hospital.
I unfortunately had a meeting in Wells at the Scrutiny Board for the District Council.
I did manage to get back to engage in the debate.
It is clear that the people of Shepton value their hospital, sometimes I wish the people who run the NHS appreciated it as much.
Let us be clear, our community hospital delivers excellent care, our hospital has high occupancy rates and is a sense of local pride.
I know through personal experience how difficult it can be for those people who suffer a stroke, but of course it is not only those people who suffer from a stroke, but their families who also suffer, the concern and the heartache, just imagine if you, a suffer of a stroke and your loved news cannot visit because they do not have transport?
Then also imagine how this impacts on the stroke patients recovery.
But also how good is the back up community services, the stair lifts, the changes in the home to allow the stroke suffer to live their lives, with dignity. Then how good is the nursing care to be given in the patients home 24/7 or 15 minutes 3 times a day?
Let us be clear, the risk to our beds in Shepton Hospital comes from the Clinical Commissioning Group, this is the body that buys care on our behalf. This risk to our hospital beds is simply about money, it is where they choose to spend our money.
The Conservative party and the Lib Dems introduced the Clinical Commissioning Groups through the Health and Social Care Act, the privatised and marketised NHS, a NHS of providers and purchasers, these changes were said to put the patient first, yet as we are seeing in Shepton, the patients are neither consulted or important, because the Clinical Commissioning group knows best.
I remember Dr Bourke defending our local hospital back in the early eighties, he was magnificent, with the suites sent with a flee in their ears, do we see the same resolve of our GPs today?
It is so important to defend our hospital beds, the Town Council voted unanimously to tell the Clinicial commissioning group, hands off Shepton beds.