A CALL has been made to secure the future of Cirencester Hospital, after concerns were raised about the vital community facility facing a review.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson made the call following a statement issued by the Clinical Commissioning Group in Gloucestershire. The group, which provides medical cover for the hospital, has launched a review into whether the hospital could be used more.

Mary Hutton, accountable officer at the NHS Gloucestershire CCG said that the review aims to understand the needs of people living in the area and how they could be treated at their local hospital rather than the ones in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon.

Now county and district councillor Paul Hodgkinson has said he is looking for a positive outcome to the review.

"Following on from the disappointment over the reduction in A&E services in Cheltenham, people will be wary of the word 'review'," he said. "However, if this latest move leads to people in the Cotswolds being able to make more use of Cirencester Hospital this has to be a good thing."

The councillor, who represents Churn Valley for Cotswold District Council and Bourton and Northleach for Gloucestershire County Council, called Cirencester Hospital a gem and said it provides a really good service for minor injuries and illnesses.

"Given the journey times to Cheltenham or Gloucester, an expanded service in Cirencester would make sense," he added. "The Cotswolds already has the worst ambulance response times in the west. We deserve better.

"I want the hospital to have a secure future as people value it. It could also take some pressure off Cheltenham."