Local hospital saved by Politician ….. or is it?
Rhion Jones (provocatively) comments:
No doubt Jeremy Hunt will be delighted by this newspaper story – especially as a General Election is looming. But read it carefully and notice that the NHS is yet to devise its options, and the classic words “it cannot continue to operate in its current format…” creeps into the article. We do not underestimate the influence of ex-Cabinet Ministers, but there must be somewhere a long list of politicians whose claims to have ‘saved’ various public services have disappeared when they failed to vote for enough money to keep them open. Except that, right now, they’ve discovered that Magic Money Tree! So this will probably be okay. Or will it?
Haslemere Hospital minor injuries unit saved
Pressure applied by town MP Jeremy Hunt on both Health Secretary Matt Hancock and NHS England boss Simon Stevens to keep Haslemere Hospital minor injuries unit (MIU), has paid off.
Mr Hunt, who is heading the campaign battling closure of the unit because it no longer meets NHS urgent care requirements, won a public assurance from his successor as Health Secretary it will stay open.
Mr Hunt told Mr Hancock in parliamentary questions the closure would be “catastrophic”, both for Haslemere and for the Royal Surrey Hospital A&E because of the knock-on impact.
Mr Hunt told the Herald it was the huge show of support for his cross-party campaign to save a vital facility treating 8,000 annually across a huge area, which had helped win the day.
He said more than 96 per cent of those responding to the campaign survey he sent out to everyone on the Haslemere electoral roll backed its continuation, with 73 per cent having used the MIU in the last year.
Around 54 per cent responding who have used Royal Surrey A&E said they had had to wait too long.
Mr Hunt said: “The MIU will stay open as it is now. If the NHS want to put extra money to upgrade it, so much the better. The problem is they said they didn’t have extra money.
“The NHS are agreeing to make an exception to the guidelines, which will allow it to continue as it is. It’s up to the NHS if they can find extra money. I hope they do. The main thing is they are going to keep the MIU.”
A spokesman for Guildford and Waverley Clinical Care Commissioning Group (CCG), which is conducting the Better Care Together consultation threatening the future of the MIU, said: “We are not planning to close the MIU in Haslemere.
“However, we know that it cannot continue to operate in its current format due to national guidance.
“Therefore, we are reviewing how urgent care across Guildford and Waverley is currently provided and experienced and exploring different ways that urgent care could potentially be delivered.
“We have recently carried out engagements with the public, stakeholders and partner organisations across Guildford and Waverley to consider what is working well and how any options we might consider in the future impact the local community.
“The CCG is now working with local clinicians and stakeholders to develop options for the delivery of urgent care that take account of the NHS England guidance. If any of these options require changes to existing services, a formal public consultation will be undertaken.”
Article originally appeared on Haslemere Herald
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