Labour councillors putting hospital scheme at risk, claim Tories

Posted on Wednesday 19th October 2011 at 7:00 pm by SH (Editor)

Press release by the Conservative Group on SGC

The Conservatives

The new Frenchay Community Hospital is at risk because of Labour politicking, according to health campaigners.

The criticism of Labour councillors follows their decision to table a motion at tonight’s South Gloucestershire Council meeting calling on the local NHS to overturn its decision to involve an independent provider in the new Frenchay Community Hospital – similar to the previous Labour government’s Independent Sector Treatment Centre (ISTC) at nearby Emersons Green.

But – in advance of the meeting – the local North Bristol NHS Trust has warned councillors that if this happens then the scheme’s timetable will be “compromised and we will not have the new facilities in place to coincide with opening of the new Hospital at Southmead … if we are not able to progress our proposed procurement strategy, the project is very much at risk.”

Although contracts to downgrade Frenchay Hospital and stripping it of its acute services were signed by the previous Labour government shortly before the 2010 General Election, local Conservatives have been campaigning for the maximum possible health facilities to remain at Frenchay.

As a result, the range of services now envisaged for Frenchay is greater than that proposed in the original Bristol Health Services Plan drawn up by the previous Labour government in 2005 – and this has been acknowledged by the group overseeing the community hospital project.

Cllr John Godwin (Con, Winterbourne), a former member of the Save Frenchay Hospital group and who has also been working on the community hospital project, said:

“I hope that Labour councillors seriously heed the warning from the local NHS that their actions could put our new community hospital at risk.”

“Just when we had reduced the scale of the previous government’s downgrading of Frenchay Hospital, we are now faced with a delayed scheme at best, a cancelled scheme at the very worst.”

“I’m concerned that we may have just hours left to save Frenchay Hospital.”

He added:

“If this was principled opposition by Labour then residents might understand, but it was a Labour government that authorised the Emersons Green Independent Sector Treatment Centre, so it’s a bit late to start having an ideological hang-up with independent providers in the NHS.”

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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One Response to “Labour councillors putting hospital scheme at risk, claim Tories”

  1. Andy Perkins Says:

    Yet another piece of scaremongering fiction from the local Tories.

    1. The ISTC at Emersons Green was built as a private hospital and always will be a privately owned and run hospital. Frenchay is an NHS facility with NHS nurses, but under the new Tory government it will be privately run with non-NHS nurses.
    2. The Tories are in fact delivering less for Frenchay than the BHSP proposed. The BHSP proposed a Minor Injuries Unit, but the Tories have rejected that idea. The BHSP promised that the Macmillan Unit would be retained. We have now been told this is not going to be the case. The only thing that has been increased over the BHSP proposals is 2 extra beds. The BHSP proposed 66 beds for South Glos patients (54 general rehabilitation beds and 12 stroke rehab. beds) whereas 68 beds are now being proposed (56 general, 12 for stroke).

    I really do wish the local Tory party would check their facts before putting out their press releases. Unless, of course, it is their intention to mislead.