Northumberland County Council is urging NHS decision-makers to listen to local views over the future of Rothbury Community Hospital.
A three-month public consultation, led by the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is under way to consider the fate of the ward. It runs until Tuesday, April 25.
The proposal is to permanently close the 12-bed inpatient facility and shape existing services around a Health and Wellbeing Centre on the hospital site.
Health bosses say that this could include the relocation of the GP practice, more physiotherapy services and more outpatient clinics, including possibly using video links so that patients can have a consultation with a specialist who is based at another hospital.
But objectors have described it as a huge disappointment and a short-sighted approach and accused the CCG of ignoring the heartfelt views of the community, which wants to keep the beds.
Council leader Grant Davey said: “There is clearly a great deal of concern in Rothbury and the surrounding community over these proposals.
“While the council isn’t involved in the consultation process, the health and wellbeing of all our residents is a key concern for us.
“We trust decision-makers will listen carefully to the views of all those taking part in this ongoing consultation. It is an emotive issue and the outcome will have long-term consequences for people living in the area.”
Last week, we reported that Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons Chamber on this issue. It will be held on Thursday, after the main business of the House has concluded, around 5.30pm.