The Hospital Today

The hospital no longer has an accident and emergency (A&E) unit but there is a minor injuries unit open daily for all accidents and injuries not needing A&E in Salisbury. Hours are 8am to 8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

Other facilities at the hospital in constant and regular use are:
• Integrated Community Rehabilitation Team – a team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and rehabilitation assistants who provide rehabilitation on the hospital ward as well as in the community
• Outpatients department with regular visiting consultations
• Physiotherapy musculoskeletal department
• X-ray department, open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9.15am – 4.30pm.
• Older Peoples Community Mental Health Team – providing services in the community and in the hospital.
• A health and social care team from Dorset Social Services is also based at the hospital.

In-patient care

Shaftesbury hospital has admitted in-patients since the day it first opened in 1874. Most in-patients these days are elderly, although beds are not restricted to the elderly. From a peak of 25 beds the number is now down to 15 – but the hospital still has a major role in providing recuperative and post-operative care for patients recovering from operations at the main large acute hospitals such as Salisbury, and where family and friends can easily visit them. The team also provides rehabilitation that enables older people to return home as soon as practicable.

The hospital also has an equally important role in palliative and end-of-life care and this includes younger people. There is one end-of-life suite and The John Lidsey Unit gives relatives the chance to stay with those patients. The Weldmar Hospice Care Trust visit the hospital every Wednesday and provide day services for those people who are in palliative care.


Consultants from Salisbury NHS District Hospital have run regular clinics at Westminster hospital for many years. Clinics held during February 2017 by visiting consultants from Salisbury included:

Eye clinic inc glaucoma
Mental health

Correct at 6 February 2017

For more information on Shaftesbury Hospital contact:
Helen Lawes, Matron, 01747 851535 or email


“No longer fit for purpose”

To the accusation by the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group that the hospital is “no longer fit for purpose” former matron Jane Silvester (2010-2015) was emphatic in an interview she gave to Dorset Life. What she said then bears repeating in 2017:

“Yes, it’s an old building but inside it we have up-to-date, modern equipment and a team of dedicated staff. We’ve got all the facilities we need – a busy outpatients department, a minor injuries unit and 25 in-patient beds [now 15].

“What makes the hospital special is the people in it: the nursing staff, the occupational therapists, the physiotherapists, the administrative staff, the facilities staff and volunteers – it’s a whole community.

“It’s not a large community – about a hundred people in all – but every one of them goes over and above their remit, from helping to plant flowers in the hospital garden to coming in for the Christingle service on Christmas Eve.

“I think the way forward is to build on our existing excellent relationship with the local community and to develop further our facilities through more partnership working – and thus ensure that our community hospital continues to care for future generations of Shastonians.”

In the background, if you listen carefully, you will hear a rising groundswell chorus of the voices of people from Shaftesbury and Gillingham and Tisbury and Hindon and Mere and all the villages around.

“And so say all of us!” they shout in unison. And may it be so. As it should.