Cheltenham General Hospital’s A&E may remain shut until next year

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image captionCheltenham General Hospital’s A&E was turned into a minor injury and illness unit for three months in June

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.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}A hospital’s A&E department could remain temporarily shut until next year to prepare for a potential second spike in coronavirus cases.

In June, Cheltenham General Hospital’s A&E was turned into a minor injury and illness unit for a three-month period.

But the .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said the NHS trust now wants to extend the temporary closure until the end of March 2021.

The trust said it “wouldn’t compromise on patient and staff safety”.

Professor Mark Pietroni, from Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We will not compromise on the safety of patients and staff and this remains our guiding principle as we present our plans for this winter.

“We want to achieve the very best health outcomes for the people we treat and ensure that as winter draws in we can provide high quality emergency care and as far as possible minimise the impact on planned care services as our hard working teams do their level best to limit waiting times for the benefit of patients.”

The temporary closure also means 999 admissions will continue to be sent to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, which is eight miles away from Cheltenham.

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