THE deadline for responses to the consultation over the future of Poltair Community Hospital has been extended by a week as only 70 people have so far responded.
Dr Neil Walden, the Marazion GP in charge of the consultation, which is being run by NHS Kernow and Peninsula Community Health, said: "We have really pulled out all the stops with this consultation, holding public meetings, visiting local groups and individuals and involving local people in drawing up the options from the start.
"We have also had extensive local media coverage and have used social media to spread the word.
"Despite all of that, we still have just 70 responses to the survey. Although we have gathered very useful feedback from the events and meetings we have held, we do need people to fill in that survey."
The extra week means that people have till February 17 to respond.
West Cornwall MP Andrew George agrees with other local health campaigners that the best way forward for community healthcare would be a new purpose-built facility near West Cornwall hospital.
Mr George, like the West Cornwall HealthWatch group, says the soon-to-be-empty site at the former Penwith District Council offices at St Clare, presents an ideal opportunity.
"The benefits of both economies of scale and the use of bespoke and modern facilities would be for the benefit of all.
"The provision of a community hospital service on the St Clare site would be a tremendous boon for all health providers and the local community into the future."
Two weeks ago, The Cornishman published details of West Cornwall HealthWatch's response to the consultation which suggested Poltair should be replaced by a 24-bed integrated care centre at St Clare.
HealthWatch believes 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".
HealthWatch put forward the St Clare suggestion after rejecting all five options proposed by NHS Kernow.
To respond to the consultation, write to the Engagement Team, NHS Kernow, Sedgemoor Centre, Priory Road, St Austell, PL25 5AS or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org