Poundbury putting 'extra strain' on Dorset County Hospital

TACKLING CONCERNS: Patient  governor Derek Julian

TACKLING CONCERNS: Patient governor Derek Julian

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A GOVERNOR has promised to tackle the board after concerns were raised about the impact of Poundbury on Dorset County Hospital.

Patient governor Derek Julian received a letter from a concerned West Dorset resident, who asked to remain anonymous, who was worried about the growing impact the increased population at Poundbury was having on the Dorchester hospital.

The resident, who is a member of several rural societies and claims to represent local voluntary workers in West Dorset, raised concerns about growing waiting lists at the hospital and said that the influx of people, particularly the elderly and retirees, into Poundbury over recent years was likely to be causing a ‘greater strain on hospital facilities’.

She claimed that the scale of Poundbury must have been evident from when planning permission was first granted for Prince Charles’s model development but there was little evidence that the hospital had done anything to cater for this increase in demand.

She suggested that the hospital could ask the Duchy of Cornwall or Prince Charles for a contribution in recognition of the increasing impact the development was having on the hospital.

Mr Julian has vowed to take the resident’s concerns up with the hospital board and said he wholeheartedly backed everything she had raised in the letter.

He said: “I agree with everything in that letter and have raised these things quite frequently.”

Mr Julian said the growing demand on the hospital was evident in the parking problems being experienced at the hospital.

He has previously presented a petition to the board regarding the old fire station site that has now been sold off.

Mr Julian claimed it could have been used for car parking before the land was used to expand the hospital facilities.

He said there is now an opportunity to use the Damers School site when the school moves up to Poundbury to expand the hospital to meet the growing demand.

Mr Julian also said he saw no reason why the Duchy or Prince Charles could not be asked for a contribution to the hospital.

He said: “Why couldn’t Prince Charles be made to make a contribution? Perhaps he could put a car park where that school is?”

A spokesperson for Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “As an acute trust, we are responsible for providing services that are commissioned by the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group. “They do this based on need including population growth.”

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