News Date: Tuesday 17th October 2006
TIM slams SHA for ignoring patients' concerns
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has criticised the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority for failing to respond to questions raised by local residents concerned by the proposed cuts to Worthing and Southlands hospitals.
After the KWASH public meeting at the Worthing Pavilion in early August Tim and West Worthing MP Peter Bottomley promised to collect questions from attendees who did not have the opportunity to raise their concerns with Candy Morris the Chief Executive of the Strategic Health Authority.
On 17th August Tim collated the questions and sent them to the SHA to be answered. Following the lack of response from them Tim chased the SHA on 29th August to confirm that the questions were being dealt with.
"There has been a deafening silence from the SHA since we sent them these questions nearly two months ago. If the SHA cannot even commit to paper answers to local residents' queries from the August meeting then what hope is there that they will be able to produce a consultation document which addresses the needs of our community. We need reassurance about how those in desperate need of treatment will be able to get to an Accident and Emergency department in time or whether expectant mothers with complications to their pregnancy will be able to give birth in safety.
"What are the SHA trying to hide? How much longer will we have to wait before we get a reply to these questions."
Notes to Editor:
1) For more information about KWASH please visit www.kwash.org.uk or contact Ruth Farrer-Langton on 020 7219 1622.
2) The questions given by members of the public to the offices of Tim Loughton MP and Peter Bottomley MP for answer by the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority are as follows:
Who is responsible at the end of the day for the debt incurred at the hospital? Is this bad management by the chief executive and his staff?
Why hasn't Mr Phoenix been asking questions of the chief executive of Worthing Hospital before the debt became as big as it is?
Why isn't the public informed more of changes within the NHS for example when the Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority ceased to exist from July 1st?
Why have newly qualified nurses been told they now have no jobs when the hospital needs them as they have paid for their training
Why is the hospital heavy with administrative staff at the cost of hands on staff?
If the population of Worthing is growing why are we going to get a second rate emergency centre?
Will the local health authority be making decisions as to whether the accident and emergency department closes?
Who makes the final decisions regarding any downgrading?
Before downgrading the hospital would it not make more sense to put in place a walk in centre now to relieve pressures from the main department?
Will GPs be more available to their patients if accident and emergency closes?
How many more ambulances will be made available ?
Have any decisions already been make regarding whether St Richards or Worthing Hospitals will be downgraded?
Will maternity services be taken from Worthing Hospital after recently being moved from Southlands?
How many staff will lose jobs through downgrading?
Will the children's centre be moved from Worthing if it is decided to downgrade the hospital?
Is the NHS Direct service going to be cut?
Will the intensive care department go if the accident and emergency department is taken away?
If the decision is taken to close accident and emergency, how long before that happens?
What arrangements have been put in place for staff needing to travel between the two hospitals?
Will the proposed multi storey car park planned to replace the existing one still go ahead?
What arrangements have been made for school children if taken by ambulance out of area?
How will other accident and emergency departments cope with Worthing's urgent cases when already stretched?
The A27 is solid with traffic. How will ambulances get through?
Is the Littlehampton community hospital still going to be replaces as previously was planned and if so how will this be funded if we can't maintain services at Worthing now?
Will there be a walk in minor injuries unit at Southlands?
Will we also lose other departments from Worthing and Southlands Hospitals?
Will paramedics take the place of Drs in A&E departments?
How do the fire services feel as they are part of the major incident plans in Worthing?
How would Worthing cope if, god forbid, there was a major incident?
Why has the hospital bus been removed and how cost effective is it to have taxis replacing this service being as it is used hourly to transfer patient's notes between hospitals?
When will the new chief executive of the PCT be announced?
Will Steve Phoenix be the new chief executive of the new PCT?
Have all GPs been consulted about changes within the hospital system?
If the accident and emergency department disappears from Worthing and a patient calls an ambulance because they have no transport will they be charged for the ambulance?
When will the chief executive Stephen Cass be making any statement regarding the hospital?
Who determines what constitutes a serious injury?
What plans are there for Southlands Hospitals?
How do Drs and nurses feel about the downgrading and have they had an opportunity to voice their concerns?
Why have beds and wards already been lost at Worthing Hospital?
What right have those unknown people to close the hospital? Where has the money gone? Who is accountable?
If the hospital is downgraded will other services go, for example the eye unit?
Would any Walk in Centres be manned by fully trained Drs and if a patient is to ill to be treated, would emergency services transfer them to the nearest A&E?
Why, if we are so much in debt at Worthing Hospital, have they continued adding new buildings to a fairly new hospital?
Who makes decisions on which hospital a patient would be taken to in an emergency?
Was the Fit for the Future booklet meant to be made available for all the public to read and if so why wasn't it?
Have you calculated how many people will die if you close our hospital?
If this is a review of all health services across the area, why have hospitals in Brighton not been considered for downgrading?
Will you change any of the plans in light of the overwhelming public opposition in Worthing?
What will you be doing to make sure we get out fair share of NHS money - as much as they get in the North?
If it is decided to close parts of the hospital how much notice will the general public be given?
Have you ever made the journey from Worthing to Brighton or Portsmouth hospitals? How long did it take you?
With all of the terrorist problem we have around this country, how do you propose to cope if a similar incident happens locally in Worthing and surrounding areas?
My grandson is an unstable diabetic and relies on the A&E and the children's centre. If he has to go to Brighton, he could die. How will we be able to care for him if you shut these services?
Why are students that have worked hard for 3 years now being told that there are no jobs for them at the hospital? It costs ?26,000 per year to train nurses. What plans will be in places for these qualified nurses?
Tim Loughton MP , 2006