Calls for an upgrade to Melksham Community Hospital so it can offer more services to local residents are growing.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay has been invited to visit the hospital in Spa Road and see for himself what it offers to the people of the town.

Figures show more than 34,000 people a year from the Melksham area visit the Royal United Hospital in Bath because the local community hospital does not provide all the services some of them require.

Now the town's MP is building the case for an upgrade of Melksham Community Hospital with a new call for investment and is inviting Mr Barclay to visit.

Michelle Donelan is also scheduled to sit down and discuss the benefits of upgrading the site with the Health Secretary in the coming weeks.

Wiltshire Times: Local MP Michelle Donelan is calling for Melksham Community Hospital to be upgraded Local MP Michelle Donelan is calling for Melksham Community Hospital to be upgraded (Image: Google Maps)

Miss Donelan, the Conservative MP for Chippenham, said: “Since the services at Melksham Hospital were reduced by the previous Labour government in the 2000s, we know that Melksham has had more than its fair share of housing in that time.

“Health facilities have not grown in line with this and local people are clearly experiencing difficulties and long waits to get treated, as well as having to go to larger hospitals in Bath, Bristol and Swindon, which can be time-consuming, expensive and inaccessible.  

Whilst securing investment to upgrade the hospital is a long-term goal for Melksham and the wider area that won’t happen overnight, we do know that increasing the range of services with more staff and more equipment would make a real difference for accessing treatment, as well as increasing capacity for urgent care at our larger hospitals. 

“Our next step is to demonstrate the level of demand for these services in the community, so I will be raising this at every opportunity with the Department for Health and the Integrated Care Board to look at the best way of making this happen and give us the best chance of securing the investment Melksham Hospital needs.”

A spokesperson for the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board: “We understand how valuable our community hospitals are to local residents, and we are actively looking at how all of our sites, including Melksham Community Hospital, can be fully utilised, both now and in the future.

“We will engage with local communities on proposed changes to our buildings and services as and when developments occur, and we remain grateful for all external support and interest with this project.”

Miss Donelan plans to set up a local steering group to bring community members together to work to demonstrate the business case and level of demand for services in the community, given the increase in housing in Melksham and the pressure on local doctors. 

Melksham Community Hospital no longer has any beds or a minor injuries unit, providing only X-ray, mental health and physiotherapy services.

The hospital's remaining ward with beds was shut in 2007 following the closure of the minor injuries unit in 2002. As a result, tens of thousands of people from Melksham and the surrounding area travel to larger hospitals in Bath, Bristol and Swindon for their appointments.  

The MP added: “Upgrading the site in Melksham, therefore, would not only benefit access to treatment in the area itself, but would also help to relieve pressure on local doctors surgeries and nearby larger hospitals.

“This would create further capacity for operations, urgent care and A&E services in these larger facilities, which further benefits the area more widely. Plus, it would help cut the congestion and impact on our environment cutting journey times and saving people money.”