Socialist councillor Dave Nellist has promised to continue his fight to retain
two upgraded hospitals in Coventry instead of the single super health complex favoured by
the City Council and the Walsgrave NHS Trust.
Consultation on the siting of the new hospital closes at the end of February but Mr
Nellist, a former Labour MP, said:
"Our campaign does not stop when the consultation ends. It will go on and on for
months, probably for years.
"The best option has not been put properly to the people of Coventry which is to
modernise and refurbish the two NHS hospitals we have got, rather than to demolish them to
build a smaller, privately owned hospital in a location no one wants."
He said that he and his followers had been campaigning for six years adding:
"We have collected 130,000 signatures since July 1992 when it was first announced
that they were going to shove everything up to Walsgrave. We think there is a majority of
people who want both hospitals.
"We had five hospitals in the city a few years ago. The Paybody Eye Hospital was
transferred to Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital at a cost of £4 million and the old
site has now been sold to a brewery.
"Whitley Hospital was closed and supposed to become a retirement village for the
elderly it is now a supermarket.
"Gulson Hospital was sold to the university for a library. Now they want to close
"The new hospital will have fewer beds and less staff. On the basis of what has
happened elsewhere, in Edinburgh for example, I calculate there will be 169 fewer beds and
about 1,000 jobs switching across to the private sector with prospect of lower wages and
"These so-called super hospitals can only be economically viable with a catchment
area of 500,000 patients or customers. To have that they would need to demolish St Cross
Hospital at Rugby and the George Eliot Hospital at Nuneaton."