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League of Friends look to boost services at redeveloped Milford hospital

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VILLAGERS are being urged to support a charity calling for medical services to be extended when the Milford War Memorial Hospital site is redeveloped.

The hospital, which closed to inpatients over 14 years ago, could be changed to include a health hub for clinics, blood tests and mental health services under plans being promoted by the Milford League of Friends Health Hub.

Don Waite, chair of the League of Friends which recently dropped “hospital” from its name, said it was no longer realistic to hope the site could be reopened for inpatient services.

Some of the vaccination team at Milford-on-Sea War Memorial Hospital
Some of the vaccination team at Milford-on-Sea War Memorial Hospital

However, he said the medical centre, pharmacy and the war memorial would remain under any redevelopment proposals.

Now the community is being urged to complete a survey of what other services could be offered in Milford, including blood testing, mental health clinics, care coordinators and better balance classes.

Mr Waite recalled the League of Friends had previously been shown early plans for the redevelopment of the hospital site which were not well received.

He continued: “Since then we have been working with Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to develop and build on the services that people in Milford tell us they want and need. The CCG has been listening.”

League of Friends spokesperson Paul Highett-Smith said: “We believe the NHS now have Milford in their focus after many years of no activity. But at this moment we do not have much more to say on this matter, it is too early.”

The current hospital first opened in Sea Road in 1930, although there was a previous facility on the same site. It was created with donations from local residents as a memorial to the 37 villagers who lost their lives in the First World War. The names of all 267 men who served are displayed in the entrance hall.

Mr Highett-Smith said the charity remained “completely committed to upholding the integrity of the war memorial”.

The League of Friends said hopes the site could reopen as a working hospital have been extinguished, as it has been overtaken by regional facilities in Lymington, Bournemouth and Southampton.

Previous surveys on the healthcare needs of the village were undertaken in 2017 and 2019, when the League of Friends reported local people generally felt “they were not being listened to”.

So far 305 people have responded to the current survey which runs until 31st May.

A spokesperson for Hampshire CCG said it was committed to working with local people to plan how to best use the space at the hospital.

He continued: “We would encourage as many local people as possible to take part in the League of Friends survey, and will be keeping people up to date on our plans as these progress.”

A spokesperson for NHS Property Services, which manages NHS buildings, said: “At this stage, the partners are looking forward to hearing feedback from the League of Friends survey that seeks to understand the needs of local people and how we can best make use of space on the site.

“We are working with local teams and health care bodies to facilitate a smooth transition for all services so patients can continue to access quality care at Milford Hospital.”

To complete the survey visit www.healthhub-milfordlof.co.uk

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