WITH less than two weeks until it closes, only 30 people have responded to an appeal for the public's views on the future of Poltair Hospital.
NHS Kernow is proposing a choice of five options for the Penzance community hospital and consultation on them ends on February 10.
Andrew Abbott, leading the consultation for NHS Kernow, said: "We've made huge efforts to ensure as many people as possible are informed including four local events, many meetings with local people, information via the press and social media. However, up to now the number actually returning questionnaires to us is low – around 30.
"I'd encourage anyone who has a view on the future of the hospital to get a copy of the consultation document, read it well and complete the questionnaire. We've designed it so most people can do this within about 30 minutes, even if they knew nothing about it before, but we can also supply the document in an easy-read format and even help people to complete it over the phone."
The options for Poltair are:
Offering outpatient and outreach services only, with inpatient beds at Edward Hain and Helston hospitals
Offering outpatient, outreach and inpatient services (five beds)
Offering outpatient and outreach services only (with increased capacity), with inpatient beds at Edward Hain and Helston hospitals
Relocation to West Cornwall Hospital; Poltair would close and inpatient beds would be provided at Edward Hain and Helston hospitals
Relocation to other local health and/or community sites, with clinics delivered at alternative sites such as West Cornwall Hospital, GP practices and pharmacies; Poltair would close and inpatient beds would be provided at Edward Hain and Helston hospitals.
One person who has submitted his comments is Phil Westren, the Cornish Pirates' media liaison officer, who said there was a "definite need" for a community hospital in the Penzance area.
"At present WCH appears to take many patients who in different circumstances would be cared for in a community hospital, but there is concern that for some they don't perhaps receive the type of care required," he said. "A simple example is that patients who need to get out of bed and be walked are just left in bed, as presumably there are insufficient staff to provide such attention.
"Option two is the only one that's worthy of further consideration, as at least it mentions five inpatient beds, but I'd suggest that five is too few. As our population live longer, availability of even more such beds will surely become a must – whether at Poltair or elsewhere in Penzance, demanding perhaps 'new build'."
For more information, log on to www.kernowccg.nhs.uk/poltair or call 01726 627800.