Southport and Formby Hospital will stay open, says MP

26th July 2017
Southport and Formby Hospital will stay open, says MP

Southport and Formby Hospital will stay open, says MP

Southport’s new Member of Parliament has sought to clarify the future of Southport & Formby District Hospital – insisting it will stay open.

The Conservative’s comments follow as it emerged several campaigns during recent elections had misinformed residents by wrongly suggesting the hospital and urgent care services were at risk of closure.

Now, Damien Moore, the new Member of Parliament for Southport has issued the following statement, reassuring residents that their hospital will not close, after meeting hospital bosses and Health Minister, Philip Dunn.

Damien Moore stated: “I understand there are a number of concerns surrounding the local hospital.”

“The Trust has faced a number of severe pressures on several fronts. The most immediate and pressing one being able to find a long-term Chief Executive who will provide stability.”

“This real issue, however, has only been side-lined by a number of unhelpful and misleading suggestions as to the long-term future of Southport Hospital.”

“I want to make it perfectly clear: Southport and Formby District Hospital will remain open; the urgent response center will remain open; and residents will continue to receive first-class health care.”

“Whilst I understand the Trust has recently come to a decision to

establish a clinical senate, led by medical professionals, to decide how they may better deliver key services, there has never been a suggestion that the hospital would close. In fact, it’s rather the opposite.”

“The Trust will continue to work with local authorities and the government to consider how they will deliver services in the long-term, whilst working with neighboring hospitals to provide the best-quality care available, including the prospect of enhancing key services in Southport.”

“All hospitals are subject to a review to determine the safety of their services and the quality of care they are providing; therefore, the suggestion that Southport Hospital needs ‘saving’ is nonsensical and misleading. All public bodies are required by regulation to hold periodical reviews.”

“Furthermore, should the hospital propose any considerable change to the way it operates in the future, I wish to reassure the public that those changes can now only be brought about by experienced medical professionals –not beauracrats or politicians- and on the basis of patient safety.”

“The future of Southport Hospital has never been more clear.”

Following a constructive dialogue with the new MP, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust Chairman, Richard Fraser, confirmed Damien’s statement:

“No proposal has been discussed by or presented to the Trust Board about either closing emergency services or reprofiling their hours since I have been Chairman. The Board will consider the outcome of the system review as it emerges.”

“No Trust is an island and no organisation can categorically rule out the potential for change in the future. However, I cannot currently foresee a situation where 24/7 emergency services will not be needed in this health economy.”

During discussions between Damien and the Department for Health, Minister Philip Dunn further added:

“Political scaremongering in the run-up to an election will have caused immense stress to the people of Southport, who may well be concerned about the future of the local hospital. This damages confidence in clinical leaders and undermines efforts to recruit and retain clinical staff.

While there may be changes in the future, brought about by advice from experienced medical professionals, it is categorically wrong to suggest the hospital or emergency services are at risk of closure – I am aware of no such proposals.”

Asked what immediate challenges wait ahead, Damien went on to say:

“My immediate concern is to support the Chairman in finding ways of improving our urgent care center. That involves the establishment of an internal clinical senate, finding a long-term CEO, and filling staff vacancies to ensure urgent care is delivered in a safe environment.

“Medium term, I would like to see joined-up thinking amongst neighboring hospitals to ensure specialists work together and guarantee urgent care is readily available.

“And long-term that means enhancing our specialist services to benefit the demographic of Southport –such as the frailty unity-; applying for more funding when possible, whilst building a first-rate reputation as an outstanding health- care unit on the advise of medical professionals.

“This, however, is only possible providing the public continue to have faith in the Trust’s new leadership, which means aspiring politicians stop pontificating with their misleading petitions, and start supporting their local hospital.