Swanage community invited to support local hospitals

Swanage Hospital and Wareham Hospital in Dorset are separately holding community events in their grounds and asking everyone to come along and show their support.

Friends of Swanage Hospital is holding a tea party in its garden from 2 pm to 4 pm on Saturday 15th June 2024, while the following weekend, the Friends of Wareham Hospital is running a summer fete from 2 pm to 4 pm on Saturday 22nd June 2024.

Swanage Hospital

Loss of local NHS services

With the reduction in hours of the minor injuries unit at Swanage Hospital and the loss of services at Swanage and Wareham, the friends groups are keen to highlight the vital role that the staff and the hospitals still play in the local community.

Chair of Friends of Swanage Hospital Deirdre Selwyn said:

“All money raised by the tea party goes straight back into improving Swanage Hospital facilities for patients and staff. In the past we’ve paid for equipment that has enabled the hospital to offer a wider range of services to patients and we’re continuing to do that.

“Sadly, the old theatre room can’t be upgraded to modern standards due to the age of the building but it’s about to be refurbished as a multifunctional area offering the facilities to enable more clinics to return to Swanage.

“As a Friends group we are wholly supportive of all action to improve the provision of NHS services at the hospital and the more people who come along to our events, the better we are able to show how much Swanage Hospital is cherished and appreciated by the local community.

“Also there will be tea and cake in our beautiful garden!”

Deidre Selwyn from Friends of Swanage Hospital and Lisa Wansbrough from Lewis Manning

Deidre Selwyn (left) from Friends of Swanage Hospital presents a cheque £2,600 to Lisa Wansbrough (right) from Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, allowing the charity to continue its care, based from its office in the High Street

Swanage Hospital

Swanage Hospital minor injuries unit has had its hours permanently reduced

Rheumatology and chemotherapy clinics closed

Both Swanage and Wareham hospitals are run by NHS Dorset Healthcare and have played a crucial role in delivering medical provision locally.

In 2020, Wareham Hospital was transformed into a hub providing vaccinations against Covid for the whole of Purbeck.

However since the pandemic it’s been a struggle to ensure the return of many clinics.

In 2023 the rheumatology clinic at Swanage and the chemotherapy clinic at Wareham were closed, meaning vulnerable patients in Purbeck now have to travel to Poole Hospital.

Despite this, Wareham Hospital continues to offer a valuable service.

Wareham Hospital garden
Maggie Hardy

Open invitation to the Wareham Hospital summer fete

Wareham Hospital garden
Maggie Hardy

A relaxing garden for patients at Wareham Hospital

“Find out what’s happening”

Chair of Wareham Friends Maggie Hardy said:

“While the hospital is based in Wareham, it provides more than 40 outpatient clinics for people across the local area including Swanage.

“We want more people to know about what’s on offer – there’s physiotherapy, rehab, dermatology and chronic fatigue syndrome clinics plus plenty more.

“Coming up to Wareham Hospital for our summer fete is an ideal opportunity to find out what’s happening and an opportunity to chat to some of our local support charities like Dementia Friendly Purbeck and Lewis Manning Hospice Care, so please do come along.”

The summer fete will take place in the hospital garden with a raffle, music, tea and cakes.

Wareham Hospital garden
Maggie Hardy

The outdoor space at Wareham Hospital has been improved with the help of nearby plant nursery, Holme for Gardens

Petition to restore local NHS services

Separately, Swanage town councillor and health campaigner Debby Monkhouse has launched a petition calling for the restoration of NHS services at Swanage and Wareham hospitals. She said:

“In Swanage we are a long way from the major hospitals, we have an older population, public transport is limited and 25 percent of us have no access to a car.

“Yet local community hospital services in Swanage and Wareham are reducing, beds have been closed, and staff dealing with 111 calls or booking outpatient appointments routinely miss opportunities to support much needed access to local NHS care. Also, the Swanage NHS dentist’s list is closed to new patients.”

Debby is asking everyone who supports her campaign to sign the petition.

Further information

  • Friends of Swanage Hospital tea party from 2 pm to 4 pm on Saturday 15th June 2024 at Swanage Hospital, Queen’s Road, BH19 2ES
  • Friends of Wareham Hospital summer fete from 2 pm to 4 pm on Saturday 22nd June 2024 at Wareham Hospital, Streche Road, BH20 4QQ
  • Sign the petition calling for the restoration of NHS services at Swanage and Wareham hospitals

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