West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has cautiously welcomed the announcement by NHS Improvement that there will be a temporary pause as they review the transaction process for transferring Liverpool community health services to Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Responding to the announcement, MP Rosie Cooper said:
“I believe this pause is the right decision by NHS Improvement, especially in light of Bridgewater Community Healthcare’s Care Quality Commission inspection rating of ‘requiring improvement’ released yesterday (Monday 6 February 2017).

“Throughout this transaction process I have expressed my reservations about the capability and suitability of Bridgewater Community Healthcare in taking over these services.

“Having exposed the extensive management failures and bullying culture at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust between 2010 and 2014, I am absolutely determined there is no repeat of the harm caused to patients and staff.

“An under-funded contract run by a trust with financial weaknesses, requiring improvement run by an inexperienced executive management team all feels very familiar when it comes to Liverpool community health services.

“I am cautious in welcoming this pause until I better understand its focus. Is it to review whether the current decision is actually in the best interests of patients and staff; ensuring the quality of care is right or is it to provide more time to ensure Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group don’t lose face having appointed Bridgewater Community Healthcare as their preferred bidder in the first place despite all the warning signs?

“Members of staff who have seen their former poor, bullying organisation transformed for the benefit of patients and staff have contacted me saying they are terrified that they are now being moved against their will from the QE2 to the Titanic.

“It may be a good idea for NHS Improvement to consult Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust staff during this pause to get their views on the prospect of transferring to Bridgewater Community Healthcare.

“There is too much at stake to get this wrong again for the patients and staff involved in Liverpool community health services; commissioners cannot afford a repeat of their previous failures. I for one will be monitoring developments during this pause very carefully.”

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