MOVES have once again been made to reassure residents that Evesham Community Hospital is in safe hands.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust say that moves such as moving the county's stroke rehabilitation beds to the hospital and a £90,000 study to either improve the current building or to find a new site, shows its commitment.

A spokesman for the trust said: "The trust is proud of the services provided from Evesham Community Hospital and the passion and interest shown by the wider community is testimony to the esteem in which the hospital and its staff are held.

"Evesham Community Hospital is an important part of our future strategy.

"It is not at risk of closure, we have invested in the site and have plans to do more, and while we can’t guarantee there won’t be changes to the services it is home to, we do share the community’s wish for a thriving and well-utilised local community hospital in the town.

"Last year we took the decision to centralise the county’s stroke rehabilitation beds on one site and Evesham Hospital was chosen as the preferred location. The new stroke rehab wards have been open for over a year now and the effect of the decision has been really positive, with better patient outcomes and reduced time spent in hospital.

"We have also just recently secured some money to look into options to improve the hospital’s environment and facilities as we recognise the condition of the current building doesn’t provide the best experience for patients, visitors or the staff who work there.

"This has been a long-standing priority for the trust and this funding will help us understand the most viable options. While it is too early to speculate on what they might be, we would expect improving the hospital on its current site to be something we would be seriously considering.

"The NHS nationally and locally is experiencing workforce challenges in some areas, which means that for some disciplines our staffing numbers are low, and safe staffing is key to maintaining safe services.

"If we can’t safely staff services then we can’t run them as we won’t compromise the safety of patients. So it is essential that we promote all our local services, including the community hospital in Evesham, as great places to work so we can keep our current staff and recruit new ones. This is key to sustaining local services.

"While we respect and welcome the interest, scrutiny and engagement of local people and groups, we are concerned that continual speculation about the future of the hospital in Evesham, despite ongoing reassurance to the contrary, will actually deter people from wanting to work here.

"We can’t provide every local service and clinic in everyone’s local area, but we are committed to providing a broad range of services from Evesham Hospital and want to work together with the wider community to ensure that its future remains rosy, so future generations can benefit from the outstanding care which have served the town so well for many years.”