New vision for Wells Hospital

RICHARD PARR PCT meeting being covered by Ed Foss>The volunteers who fought so hard to see their beloved Norfolk Cottage Hospital saved from closure were given an insight into its future role during a special meeting.

RICHARD PARR

Volunteers who fought to see their beloved cottage hospital saved from closure were given an insight into its future role.

The League of Friends of the old Wells Cottage Hospital hosted an evening for everyone involved in the EDP-backed Save Wells Hospital campaign and about 150 people heard about exciting plans for the hospital's re-opening and development.

There were addresses during the meeting by League of Friends chairman Lord Leicester, Save Wells Hospital Campaign chairman Peter Rainsford and Jonathan Hazell, chairman of the newly formed charitable trust, Wells Hospital and Hospice Trust.

Mr Rainsford said it was a very worthwhile meeting and was an opportunity for the volunteers, who campaigned so forcefully for the hospital to be re-opened, to be updated on the latest plans.

"I think people now have a much clearer understanding of what we are doing and what happens next," he said.

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Lord Leicester accepted a piece of sculpture made by Camilla Swann which will go into the newly opened hospital. It was presented by pupils from the town's Alderman Peel High School as a symbol that the new-look hospital will serve the needs of present and future gener-ations in Wells.

As already announced, plans are advanced for the first stage of the re-opening at the beginning of September. Volunteers will move in before that to carry out some re-decoration work on the existing building before clinics begin operating from there.

Longer terms plans include the development of adjoining land to provide a modern 18-bed community hospital with comprehensive diagnostic and outpatient facilities.