Southport NHS decision making is a sham and a pretence
“Local NHS decision making is a sham and a pretence”. Those are the words of Southport’s MP John Pugh, who led a debate in the House of Commons on NHS services in Southport, Merseyside and Cheshire on Tuesday. The debate was also attended by other local MPs, including Rosie Cooper MP from West Lancashire.
The debate was sparked as a result of the ongoing crises in Southport hospital, which has recently seen the Accident and Emergency services come under risk with the publishing of the new Sustainability and Transformation Plans.
The STPs were written behind closed doors, and ownership of them is unknown and features no democratic accountability.
This is not the first time that the local A&E service has been put at risk, John Pugh sates “I am a veteran of such carrying-ons”, saying that Southport has a strong case to keep it’s A&E, in part due to the large elderly population of the town. He stated that without a 24/7 A&E service in Southport would lead to a lot of people suffering a longer and more anxious journey, and that during busy times such as the flower show and show, could lead to disaster.
John Pugh said, “I want to make it clear to all and sundry that any attempted closure of our A&E would lead to revolution on the streets, be clinically stupid and indefensible What I fear is a ‘behind the scenes’ stitch up followed by some phoney consultation when a downgrading plan is in place. There’s no transparency in these matters and more sharp politics and less accountability at the top of the NHS than ever you will get at Westminster.
Southport is a town with a large elderly population, a reducing number of permanent GPs but if it suits local NHS bosses and the current government it could still see a sharp reduction in services. It would not be sensible or fair to let us take the brunt of NHS cuts and savings but it could happen.
We are especially vulnerable as the management of the hospital has been in turmoil for over a year and we lack a voice at the closed NHS meetings when the real decisions get made.”
A petition has recently been set up to oppose any downgrading of Southport Hospital A&E services. This can be signed by Southport residents at http://www.southportsays.co.uk/ and West Lancashire residents at http://www.westlancssays.co.uk/
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