THE proposed closure of Hillside Rehabilitation unit is shockingly ridiculous, supposedly to deliver ‘care at home’. 

And the uninitiated might be naïve enough to believe that it’s a good idea!

Several of my relatives have been expertly nursed at Hillside over the years, including my late father, who was a patient for five months following a stroke while already terminally ill.

I can assure you that despite being strong Herefordshire farming stock, none of these could have possibly have been ‘cared for at home’.

As my father’s carer, I visited Hillside daily for all those months and witnessed first hand the wonderful job that the team of nurses, physios, doctors etc do.

At first, the paralysis of such a big man meant the (expert) use of slings to get him in and out of bed.

Picture what my (solo) struggles in an isolated country cottage to deal with such treatment would have been!  Sadly, the experiences we had at home with visiting carers were expensive, rushed, and unsatisfactory.

If Hillside is closed, people who are too ill to be nursed at home will surely have to remain on the ward in the hospital? How, in all conscience, could it be otherwise?

What has happened to the system? In the not-so-distant past, Hereford had three wonderful hospitals in the General, the County and the Victoria Eye, and my family have been very grateful for all of them.

Yet now, we have a fraction of the beds to cater for a rapidly expanding population – houses are sprouting up throughout the county.

Please do not listen to the blarney about delivering care at home.

I have sat in enough meetings now to know that nothing matters to the powers-that-be other than budgets, and they try glib excuses to cover this.

Both my parents were lucky to have had the most excellent NHS care until their untimely ends.

I dread what the future holds for anyone – or their family – unlucky enough to suffer serious illness in the future.