What is REACH?
The REACH (Restore Emergency At Cheltenham General Hospital) campaign was launched by Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, which is now working with local businesses, local residents and other campaign groups to achieve the following objective:
“To have a fully functioning, fully staffed A&E Department operating 24/7 re-instated at Cheltenham General Hospital, which serves a population of at least 200,000 in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury Borough and the North Cotswolds, at the earliest possible opportunity.”
The focus of the REACH campaign is, as the title suggests, to secure the re-establishment of a full 24/7 Accident and Emergency department at Cheltenham General Hospital to serve the people of that town and the surrounding districts of Gloucestershire. The campaign is keeping a watching brief on the related A&E services: the 111 phone line; ambulance provision; and the out of GP hours service. All of these appear to be under pressure and all impact on the quality of response to patients at times of acute needs.
Currently, we are actively involved in trying to help local people better understand the “Fit for the Future” document, encourage active participation in Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust engagement process and ensure that the strength of feeling around retaining A&E at Cheltenham is understood.
REACH is also committed to keeping Cheltenham Hospital a General Hospital with comprehensive services for the local population of Gloucestershire.