Published: 05/02/2004, Volume II4, No. 5891 Page 8

A community group has submitted a plan to buy a former hospital and run it as a mutual company, rather than see it bought by a private company.Standish Mutual Care is hoping to take over the former Standish Hospital site and run it as a 'foundation trust from the bottom up, rather than the top down', when the hospital's services are transferred to Gloucester Royal Hospital in the summer.The group has the backing of the Co-operative Bank. If successful, the land will be held by a commons land trust.Services provided will included physiotherapy, osteopathy and low-risk multi-speciality surgery.A decision is expected on the site's future in spring.