MP seeks views on South Bristol Hospital
South Bristol residents are being asked to help shape the services available at the NHS Community Hospital in Hengrove.
MP Karin Smyth is concerned the new hospital, which opened in 2012, is not yet fulfilling its potential, and is conducting a survey to gather views.
Many South Bristol residents still travel across the city to other hospitals and health facilities, unaware of the services available on their doorstep.
“It took over 50 years of campaigning to get a new hospital built to serve people in South Bristol,” said Karin Smyth, who until she was elected to Parliament last May worked as a manager for the NHS.
“It is beginning to play an important role, but it could offer so much more.
“I want to find out about people’s experiences of using the new hospital, and their views on how it could be developed.”
The MP says that when people use the community hospital they are generally impressed, both with the care they receive, and by how easy it is to get there.
One Totterdown man is a typical customer. “I broke my ankle last summer and realised I’d either have to wait for a GP appointment or trek across town to A&E,” he said.
“Then I remembered the new hospital and thought I’d give it a try. It was great – I was there when it opened at 8am and 45 minutes later I’d had an X-ray and a diagnosis.”
The MP added: “I know there are many people in Totterdown, Bedminster and Windmill Hill who either don’t realise the hospital is there, or else don’t know what is available.
“There is little logic in expecting people who live fairly close to the new hospital to instead get themselves across the city, to the BRI or elsewhere.”
Ms Smyth has met NHS managers to urge them to collaborate with other local bodies, for example the fitness centre which is close to the hospital, and make better use of technology.
“We all know the NHS faces an ongoing funding crisis, so it would be unrealistic to expect dozens of new services.
“The survey aims to gauge the types of NHS services people travel some distance to receive, as well as understanding what facilities local people feel they need to be added at Hengrove.”
Copies of the MP’s hospital survey will be delivered door to door. It is also online at www.karinsmyth.com/hospital or for a hard copy call 0117 953 3575.
Neina English, general manager at the South Bristol hospital, said she welcomed the MP’s involvement and looks forward to hearing feedback from the community, which will add to comments received at the recent open day, held on October 17.
“The hospital is in Hengrove Promenade, a fantastic and accessible location for patients in South Bristol. Since the hospital opened in 2012, we’ve had more than 100,000 patients and received very good feedback.
“The hospital houses an urgent care centre for minor illnesses and injuries, day surgery and an inpatient rehabilitation service. Services include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dieticians, speech and language therapy, X-rays and scans and a brand new community dental service.”