South Tees NHS bosses are “flying against the thinking of the new head of NHS England in pushing for the closure of facilities like minor injuries treatment at East Cleveland and Guisborough hospitals” said Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop today (30th May 2014).
The new NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens signalled a marked change in policy by calling for a shift away from big centralised hospitals. The health service chief executive said “there needed to be new models of care built around smaller local hospitals.”
In recent years, he said, the health service has emphasised the benefits of centralised services but this has raised questions about the future of the many smaller district general hospitals across the NHS. Mr Stevens said they should play an important part in providing care, especially for the growing number of older patients who could be treated closer to home.
“Local NHS managers will now have to re-examine their previous approach to their plans to downgrade or remove services like minor accident and injury treatment at our two East Cleveland small hospitals. These plans, together with proposals to axe GP provision at the Skelton Medical Centre and Park End Clinic, are detrimental to a true localised community service – a community approach now being championed by the new boss at the NHS.”