The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Health to encourage NHS Dorset to consider seriously the impact on the local community of proposed cuts to services at Blandford Hospital, in particular the proposed closure of Portman Ward, and to ensure that decisions affecting the hospital's future reflect the concerns and needs of patients, staff and the community at large.
Declares that Lady Forester Community Nursing Home contains 15 single bedrooms and offers residents nursing care; notes that four of the places are funded by the local GP service through Shropshire Primary Care Trust; further notes that Forester's Court comprises 10 one bedroom apartments and provides very sheltered housing; and further declares that the petitioners are opposed to the proposed closure of both Lady Forester Community Nursing Home and Forester's Court.
Lady Forester Community Nursing Home is privately owned and operated by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust. The trust, in common with all independent care providers, is free to take its own decisions regarding the financial viability of the services it owns and operates. The Secretary of State for Health does not have the power to intervene if an owner decides, for whatever reason, to close or sell their care or nursing home. However, in the event of the closure of a care or nursing home, local council social services have a duty to assess the care needs of residents and, if appropriate, provide or arrange alternative care for them.