Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has today (16th November 2013) branded leaked proposals “unacceptable and inadequate for local needs”.
His comments came following reports that emergency talks, held at the end of October, to plan how waiting times in departments struggling to clear backlogs could be tackled included proposals to use private providers such as The Spire Hospital in Leeds.
“Local people will be shocked to hear that there is a possibility they would have to endure a 120 mile roundtrip to Leeds to receive the treatment that they need. In their most vulnerable state people will want to know that they have family and friends close by when they are in the hospital and I’m afraid this proposal doesn’t accommodate that.
“I raised some of the legitimate concerns Teesside NHS services are facing with Health Minister, Dr Dan Poulter, but unfortunately he failed to address these. I have subsequently written to him asking him to closely check the situation with Monitor, something he failed to do in my recent Westminster Hall debate.
“Whilst I am pleased that an emergency meeting took place to try and deal with what is a very concerning situation I do not think this is the right solution. I look forward to meeting with the Chief Executive of the South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss this and other ongoing concerns.”