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New Hospital is a Smoke Screen for Cuts

In the week of the National Health Services 70th birthday. The proposals by Southport and Ormskirk, NHS trust chiefs to build a new hospital somewhere between Southport and Ormskirk is neither radical nor rational according to Cllr John Fillis, Labour Deputy Leader, Lancashire County Council. Which will see local communities in conflict once again while the trust goes ahead with its closure plans of vital services.

Cllr John Fillis, said.” The rhetoric is positive but the reality is a failing trust that has closed cancer services, people lying on trolleys in A&E and services being lost to private contractors. We have also had a series of management scandals destroying confidence in their ability to deliver. This is just a smoke screen for further cuts to our National Health Service.”

The split site services review that established the current service provision (1st April, 1999) was wrong then and the report by the Northern England Clinical Senate, confirms that it is wrong now. The whole process was gerrymandered when they introduced “visitors” to Southport as an excuse to establish the A&E there. The trust is now using the elderly to push through further closures at the Ormskirk Hospital under the discredited Hot and Cold Site Scenario. At the time of the last review local people were promised improvement in public transport and highways and the facts is that thing have got worse.

The report has recommended that Southport Hospital is used as new Hot Site for redevelopment and closing maternity and paediatric services at Ormskirk. They will be moved to another nearby Trust, outside of West Lancashire and Southport, including the Children’s A&E department.

Cllr John Fillis, said “What we need is a new Super Hospital Built in Skelmersdale, which already has excellent highway links to Ormskirk and Southport via the new A5758. The M58 motorway link would also enable fast links to regional services in Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Southport Hospital could easily become a rehabilitation and hospital for the elderly.”

“The Conservative Government is underfunding our health services by £34 million according to the Acute Sustainability Progress Report, 2017/18. Despite constant promises it is clear that this government is preparing its trusts to cut local services once again, by misleading local people. Our National Health Service is one of the most cost effective in the world, saving not only lives but billions of pounds in comparison to the private sector. The Acute Sustainability Progress Report fails to take this into account.”

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