Questions Raised over Plans to Close Ward at Sir Robert Peel Hospital

Sir Robert Peel Hospital

Sir Robert Peel Hospital

The planned closure of the surgical ward at the Sir Robert Peel Hospital has been put under the spotlight by the council’s Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, which is now demanding answers about the future of the hospital.

Last month, it was announced that the surgical ward at the Sir Robert Peel Hospital is to close, with its workload of minor surgical cases being transferred to Queen’s Hospital, Burton.  The closure decision has been made after a seven-month review of services at the hospital, following recommendations from the Keogh Review visit in May last year.

At its meeting last week, Tamworth Borough Council’s Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, made up of Conservative, Labour and Independent members, was unanimous in its condemnation of the decision to close the ward.

The committee has now drafted a list of questions for the Burton Hospital Trust about the future of the Sir Robert Peel Hospital.  These questions, which received cross-party support, will be presented at the meeting of Staffordshire County Council’s Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee on March 25.

The questions the Trust will be asked are:

  • What percentage of the services currently taking place at Sir Robert Peel Hospital can be carried out in GP surgeries?
  • What is the future of Sir Robert Peel Hospital?
  • Where will the operations currently carried out at the Sir Robert Peel Hospital be moved to?
  • Why are the 77,000 residents of Tamworth being treated so poorly?

The Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee also had questions for the Staffordshire Health & Wellbeing Board, a countywide group which brings together health professionals and other groups to identify health needs.

Those questions are:

  • What are the views of the Health & Wellbeing Board on the proposed closure of services at Sir Robert Peel Hospital?
  • What conversations have the Board had with the Trust over the proposed closure of services at Sir Robert Peel Hospital?

In addition, the South East Staffordshire & Seisdon CCG, which commissions health services, will be asked why Tamworth GPs are not making better use of the existing facilities at the Sir Robert Peel Hospital, after hearing that Tamworth residents are being sent to Good Hope for procedures which are available at the Sir Robert Peel.

The committee will also be writing to Christopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, calling on him to meet with the Secretary of State for Health with regard to the lack of communication from Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to all parties on the proposed closure of facilities and services at Sir Robert Peel Hospital.

Cllr Andrew James, chairman of the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, said, “The Sir Robert Peel Hospital provides a number of vital services to Tamworth people, and these need to be safeguarded.

“Tamworth will lose out if people are unable to have minor procedures done at their local hospital and have to travel for treatment.  It is vital that we protect the future of the Sir Robert Peel Hospital and continue to provide health services for local people at a place which is convenient, to help improve the quality of life for the residents of Tamworth.”

Cllr James is also offering members of the public the chance to put their questions about the Sir Robert Peel Hospital at the meeting on March 25.  Any questions should be emailed to him on andrew-james@tamworth.gov.uk by March 24.

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