REPLACEMENT of Poltair Hospital and the services it provides with a 24-bed integrated care centre near West Cornwall Hospital has been proposed by campaigners.
West Cornwall HealthWatch made the suggestion in response to NHS Kernow's consultation process on the future of the community hospital.
HealthWatch says none of the five preferred options put forward for Poltair are acceptable and that more community hospital beds are needed in Penwith.
Instead it calls on NHS Kernow to "share the vision" of creating "groundbreaking integrated services" for the community.
It suggests a business plan be created for the construction of a new centre at St Clare which would "house all those health, social care and third sector personnel involved in supporting people at home in West Cornwall, to avoid hospital admission".
HealthWatch co-ordinator Marna Blundy said: "We feel it's important, in dismissing the five options currently on the table, to make a positive contribution to the consultation.
"We have an opportunity here to use a prime site in Penzance, shortly becoming available. This is accessible, close to West Cornwall Hospital and large enough to provide a comprehensive range of services, including beds, which would support a growing elderly population here.
"I'm confident the community would embrace such a scheme, uniting behind NHS Kernow, Peninsula Community Health and all the other key players to work to make this happen."
HealthWatch says a centre at St Clare could deliver "the outpatient, outreach and rehabilitation services currently provided at both Poltair and Edward Hain hospitals, along with day care facilities and a minimum of 24 'community' inpatient beds".
It proposes that both Poltair and Edward Hain should remain open until a new facility is built and urges "robust negotiations" with the property arm of the NHS regarding putting the profits from any sale of Poltair or Edward Hain towards funding the new facility.
The group is encouraging local residents to submit their views on the future of Poltair Hospital to NHS Kernow before the consultation period ends on February 10.
Chairman Terry Murray said it was vital that the community made its opinions known to the decision-makers: "It's clear that many people I've spoken to don't like the five options being put forward, so they need to say so."
To respond to the Poltair consultation, write to the Engagement Team, NHS Kernow, Sedgemoor Centre, Priory Road, St Austell, PL25 5AS or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
To read West Cornwall HealthWatch's full response, visit the group's website www.west cornwallhealthwatch.btck.co.uk