Friday, 12 December 2014

Letter to Graham Jones MP reveals East Lancs NHS Special Services may be moved away

Specialist Services could leave East Lancashire altogether.

7 Specialist NHS Services are under threat of moving out of East Lancashire, a letter to Graham Jones, Labour MP for Haslingden and Hyndburn has revealed.

In response to a letter from Graham, the CEO of East Lancs Hospitals Trust, Kevin McGee named 7 specialist services which are under threat of being taken out of East Lancashire all together, including:

Pancreatic Cancer Services
Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Services
Neonatal Critical Care
HIV Services
Respiratory – Severe Asthma Services
Complex Vascular Services
Complex Disability (wheelchair) Services

The letter states that this is being driven by the Government’s “centralisation agenda”, aimed at cutting the number of specialists providing these services. This is despite the fact that Mr McGee states that he believes East Lancashire is best capable of providing these services under existing arrangements.

In the letter, the CEO says explicitly: “We believe the above services are provided to a high standard within East Lancashire and would wish to see them continue to be delivered locally.”

Responding to the letter, Graham said:

“These are not trivial services, a significant number of my constituents rely on being able to easily access these services on a regular basis. These services are all for chronic or long-term conditions which many in Haslingden and Hyndburn need to be able to access easily.”

“Moving them from East Lancashire would be a step back as far as Haslingden and Hyndburn is concerned.”

“I accept these decisions should be clinical but in this case I believe – as does the CEO of the Hospitals Trust – that they should continue to be delivered in East Lancashire. Yet because of the changes to the NHS made under the Tories, we now risk losing them to another region, leaving constituents with distant services and potentially affecting the Trust’s finances. It is a pattern which is being repeated up and down the country – communities feeling that decisions on NHS services are being taken against their wishes.”
The Lancashire Telegraph today.