Cabinet Call – this week by South Holland District Council deputy leader Angela Newton
This year the Johnson Community Hospital in Spalding is celebrating its 60th year, a milestone which, without massive support and action from all parts of the community, we would never have seen.
South Holland is blessed in having two high quality hospitals, Holbeach and the Johnson Community Hospital. Both have long enjoyed support from the communities they serve, support which continues to this day and without which essential local health services might have gone for good.
In the late 1980s the people of Holbeach got right behind efforts to acquire their hospital and, together with the League of Friends, raised fantastic amounts to secure its future.
In my two years as chairman of South Holland District Council in the 1990s I was honoured to be able to take on the role of president of the Johnson Hospital League of Friends. Since 1995 I have been proud to be the Chairman of the League of Friends of Johnson Community Hospital.
Together with the local press and community, we fought long and hard in the late 1990s/early 2000s against those who wanted to close our local hospital and remove local health facilities despite the hospital treating 43,000 patients every year.
We shouted loudly, the public meetings were packed and eventually the powers that be responded to the outcry and agreed to a new hospital serving Spalding and South Holland.
During that period Johnson’s League of Friends, with the help of many local organisations and individuals, raised more than £100,000 to provide scanners, hoists and facilities for clinics, as well as ECG machines and equipment to make the jobs of the medical staff easier.
We were delighted when the new hospital was opened by HRH Princess Anne in 2010 but the work didn’t stop there. To this day we continue to raise funds to provide comforts for patients and equipment for the staff.
The numbers of patients attending hospital clinics is still growing. In 2012, 43,252 people attended outpatients; in 2013 this figure shot up to 77,671!
Please support the Johnson Community Hospital Summer Fair being held at the hospital on Saturday, June 7, at 2pm. I look forward to meeting you there.