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‘Operation Friends’ at the new medical centre

The Friends of Frome Hospital Trust (FoFH) have agreed to provide funds towards equipping a new operating theatre which will be located in the new Medical Centre, adjacent to the Community Hospital, due to open at the end of this year.

The new operating theatre will be able to handle day-care patients. An operating theatre was originally included in the plans for the combined hospital and health centre complex which was abandoned by the NHS in 2005. The objective of the new operating theatre project is to provide a state-of-the-art facility for the people of Frome, which will allow a diverse range of minor operations to be undertaken by visiting surgeons, rather than patients having to travel to out-patients day surgeries at Shepton Mallet, Bath or Yeovil.

Peter Smith, chairman of Friends of Frome Hospital said, “This is exactly the sort of community medical initiative that we are here to support. The new facility will be available to the patients of all the medical practices based in the new medical centre, and will provide obvious benefits, not only for patients, but for the team of our local GP’s who will have more control over surgical appointments. There is no doubt that the standard of health care available through the community hospital and new medical centre on the one site will be the envy of many other towns.”

The senior partner at the Frome Medical Practice is Dr Tina Merry, who is absolutely delighted at the development. She said, “For all of us at the Frome Medical Practice, this is great news. However, this is all down to the people of Frome. Over many years thousands of local people have given so generously. The equipment for the new operating theatre will be just one more concrete example of that generosity. “I think that everyone should also realise that for the town to have a new operating theatre, fully equipped and able to cope with day care patients is also down to Peter Smith and his colleagues at the Friends who have been very much the driving force in raising all this money. Well done and thank you!”

The funds available to the FoFH have been raised by public subscription over a period of several years and its remit is to support the community hospital and general health care in the community. The Friends made a major contribution to the funding of equipment for the new hospital when it opened in 2008 and have since provided additional equipment for the hospital’s birthing unit and hospital wards. Within the community as a whole it has recently funded specialist apparatus for the Harry’s Hydro Project and a dedicated counsellor for Frome with the Positive Action on Cancer charity. The latest commitment by the FoFH for specialist equipment for the new operating theatre, valued at £80,000, is a continuing policy to support patients across the Frome community.