SERVICES provided at Cirencester hospital could be expanded, as officials revealed this week they want patients to make fewer journeys to hospitals in Cheltenham, Swindon or Gloucester.

Following news that services at the hospital were being reviewed, rumours spread among concerned residents that the much-valued asset could lose its medical cover.

Standard readers were not impressed by the explanation given last week by Mary Hutton at the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, which simply said the hospital was a vital community asset and that it was important not to rush decisions.

The CCG provides medical cover at the hospital and said it was looking closely at arrangements to see if they reflected the needs of the hospital’s patients.

Mary Hutton, accountable officer at CCG, gave the Standard a little more detail this week.

She said a Cirencester Hospital project group had been set up for the review.

“The review aims to fully understand the health needs of people living in the South Cotswolds and how more patients could, where appropriate, be treated at Cirencester Hospital rather than at the main hospitals in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon,” said Ms Hutton.

She added that patients should continue using the existing services, including the Minor Injuries Unit.