Two information sessions were held on the day with Tamworth’s MP, Christopher Pincher who persuaded HEFT to hold the event, in attendance at the morning session.
Each session featured a presentation by the Trust on its proposals, a short video and a Question and Answer session with clinicians. Their object is to create a “centre of excellence” in surgery in each of their hospital sites so that patients receive a better outcome.
Mr Pincher said afterwards, “First of all I am pleased that Trust officials and surgeons made the time to come to Tamworth to outline their proposals in a very clear and I think transparent way. Their approach is an object lesson to other Trusts in how to engage with people.
“The proposals will see services such as orthopaedic and thoracic (chest) surgery moved from Good Hope to Heartlands. However the Trust was keen to point out that only the surgery element would be moved with all pre and post-operative care and support taking place locally such as at Good Hope.
“My key concern is to ensure that as they aim to improve quality of care, the Trust does not lose sight of the importance of access to care. Heartlands is a notoriously difficult hospital to get to and we must ensure that any change does not make it more difficult or more costly for patients, and importantly their families, to get to hospital.
“The doctors and officials made clear they are aware of this and promised to ensure that transport options will be provided for the surgery element of care when those patients need to go to Heartlands. I will keep a careful watch on this issue as getting transport right is crucial to these proposals.
“But I was pleased to learn that some new surgery services will be moved into Good Hope such as urology and some gastro intestinal surgery. That means for some local patients, they will now be able to get their operations done at Good Hope and will not have to travel as far as they do now.
“My biggest concern however is to ensure that both HEFT and the Burton Trust are talking to each other so that the cumulative effect of their individual proposals at Good Hope and the Sir Robert Peel do not reduce care services for my constituents. I was pleased to hear that HEFT is planning to have detailed discussions with the Burton Trust in the next two weeks and I have asked that they keep me in touch.”