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Our Community Hospitals

March 23, 2018 11:00 AM
By Jeyan Anketell

NHSJeyan Anketell and other local Liberal Democrats attended the mid-December briefing given by Helen Scott-South (Chief Executive Officer of Burton hospitals NHS Foundations Trust) about the proposed merger of the Burton Hospitals and the Derby Teaching Hospitals expected then to be fully operational by 1st April 2018.

Newsflash "the Provider Regulatory Committee of the NHSI who oversee all the NHS, has just refused to pass the combined Trusts Full Business Case (FBC) ie financial, and has asked for more work to be done, so the merger will not go ahead on April 1st as planned. The Regulator needs more evidence of how the cost savings will be delivered. Seems that this will postpone the merger date to 1st June 2018 at the earliest.

Helen Scott-South said that Burton Hospitals NHS Trust is not sustainable on its own; there are problems with recruitment of permanent staff. There is a national shortage of qualified medical staff, from nurses to Consultants, and paying for agency staff at all levels in order to rectify shortages is very costly. Derby Teaching Hospitals Trust has no problems with recruitment, because of Derby's reputation for excellence in teaching and research. By merging with Derby, Burton would hope to have fewer problems in recruiting the medical staff it needs.
Burton hospital will retain its A & E facility, and there will be an enhancement of cancer diagnostics at Burton. The Lichfield and Tamworth hospitals will remain open, with a 7-day offering of services for Minor Injuries and Minor Illness at both; also on-the-day appointments with a GP. There will be more outpatient appointments; and there will be an Urgent Treatment Centre; eg for blood clots in the leg.
There will also be Maternity beds - midwife and family health led in Lichfield, where there are about 25 deliveries a month and consultant led in Burton. There are ongoing discussions about this, with partners staying overnight in Burton, and with support for both physical and mental health. There will be beds for Rehabilitation, 'step-up' and 'step-down' care at Lichfield (and Tamworth). There will also be beds for end-of-life care and delayed transfer care.
There should be improvements to local physiotherapy services in Lichfield and/or Tamworth. continuing and enhancing endoscopy services (at Tamworth) and X-rays (at Lichfield). There should be more diagnostics locally, with GPs in the building. GPs could send samples to the Samuel Johnson or Sutton Coldfield hospitals or elsewhere; local GPs will be keen to do diagnostics here, once they are confident they can be done here.
While the coming changes may lead to some improvements for us in Lichfield, the Conservatives in government need to invest far more in all aspects of our health and social care services in order to lift them out of the continuing state of crisis they have got us into!
Liberal Democrats would raise extra necessary funds by putting 1p on Income Tax ring-fenced for our NHS and social care.