Patients at Savernake Hospital may soon be able to receive end-of-life care there.
The community hospital, which is managed by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, provides services to residents in Marlborough, Pewsey, Tidworth and parts of Wootton Bassett.
The plan aims to save patients making the journey to Great Western Hospital in Swindon. A state-of-the-art chemotherapy unit was recently launched at the hospital but it lacks facilities for terminally ill patients to receive hospice-style care.
Hilary Walker, chief nurse at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re keen to invest more in our community services to provide more care closer to home and we’re in the very early stages of looking at whether we might be able to use some beds at Savernake Hospital to provide more end-of-life care for patients in the community.
“To do this, we are exploring ideas but as yet no decisions have been made.”
Although the idea is still in the early stages of development, it has come as welcome news to charity the Friends of Savernake Hospital, which provides support.
Chairman Janet Louth said: “The Friends are pleased to support this new initiative and will continue to offer what assistance we can to Prospect Hospice in their ongoing involvement with the project.
“It would seem to indicate a level of continuity and investment in the hospital as a resource for the local area at point of need from Great Western Hospital.
“A new facility will be of great benefit to local people, who may find it difficult to travel to Swindon at such a difficult time in their lives.”
The hospital offers a variety of clinics and outpatient services, as well as the Ailesbury Unit for inpatients and the eating disorders unit, Cotswold House.