Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

28/03/06 Rosie Cooper MP disappointed with Strategic Health Auth

West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper, is disappointed no firm actions to secure a viable future for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust emerged from the £560,000 report used by the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority at its board meeting yesterday.

Now that mergers are off the table the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority, which is to become part of a North West Strategic Health Authority in July, needs to find alternative ways of addressing deficit problems facing a number of hospital trusts across the region.

Rosie said:

“Having read the report presented to the board I am surprised that McKinsey’s and the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority were not able to arrive at a more promising conclusion in terms of a clear way forward for our local hospital.”

“I thought that spending £560,000 would have produced more than a set of loose options without clear costings which would address the problems that the Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust face, both now and in the future. Without these options being costed it is NOT clear whether all the stated options are viable options which could be afforded or are clinically possible. If it were possible to transfer everything back to Ormskirk, then I would fight hard to bring it back. Without proper costings and a feasibility study, I think this report will lead to peoples hopes being raised or dashed unnecessarily. The Strategic Health Authority have refused to allow me to see McKinsey’s report and it’s financial supporting evidence for the options it outlines. Even when I asked for it using the Freedom of Information Act, all I got was pages of e-mails with all references to the report blacked out!!, This report was paid for using public money, the report in full should be available to the hospital and to interested parties."

"As it is, all I read in this report is that another assessment team will visit the hospital to identify areas for improvement.”

“So we will now wait to hear the latest findings from next turnaround team to be brought into the hospital in an attempt to resolve the long running debt problems. The responsibility for the way this debt has arisen and why the hospital is in this situation is the responsibility of the Strategic Health Authority, not just the management of the local hospital trust. Many people believe the debt was allowed to rise to this level by the Strategic Health Authority while they were busily forcing the move of services to Southport. It is clear that the Ormskirk site is losing money because services which would have brought in money have been moved to Southport, leaving costly new buildings with empty wards. There is no way that the healthcare offered to people of West Lancashire should be affected by the inability of senior NHS managers to get it right!

“My overriding concern is to ensure that the people of West Lancashire have the ability to access the health services they need as close as possible to the communities in which they live. We need to watch very carefully for the next Strategic Health Authority move." 

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