Tamworth Borough Council’ Healthier & Safer scrutiny committee will be discussing the recently reported potential closure of the surgical ward at the Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital next week.
The Committee has invited health professionals to attend its next meeting to discuss the current and future plans for Tamworth’s day case theatre. The meeting is set to take place on Thursday November 20th, at 6pm at the Council offices in Lichfield Street.
Despite not being a health provider, Tamworth Borough Council, through its scrutiny committees, has the right to represent the views of local residents and to create an opportunity to discuss issues affecting residents.
Representatives from the two bodies overseeing the proposals, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsular CCG, have been invited to the meeting.
It is a subject the scrutiny committee has debated in the past and is the third time the committee has held meetings with the NHS Trust on various issues.
Committee chairman Cllr Andrew James said members are keen to receive an update following the recent public consultation events, which discussed the proposed closure.
While the meeting is held in public, it is not a public meeting. Therefore, it is not open to residents to put their questions or views but rather to listen to the discussion and the debate.
Cllr Andrew James, chairman of the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, said, “This meeting will be a good opportunity to raise concerns with the Trust and the CCG about the potential closure of the day surgery ward, along with the implications it could have for Tamworth residents. We are also keen to hear about the wider health plans for Tamworth.
“We will be asking if the closure does go ahead, how and where people living in Tamworth will be able to access these vital services. As a committee, we do have concerns for our more vulnerable residents, and especially older people who could have to undertake longer journeys, having a potential impact on both their health and finances.
“Ideally we would like to ensure Tamworth does not lose out and people can continue to have minor procedures at our local hospital, rather than having to travel longer distances for treatment. We would like the Trust to continue to provide health services at a place which is convenient for our residents.”
According to Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Clinical Commissioning Group, the recent public consultation events provided valuable feedback and will help them to develop their future plans.
A final decision on the future of the surgical ward is set to be made next month by Burton Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Governing Body.
The trust also said there were no plans in place to close the hospital or reduce other services. It pointed out the consultation was focused solely on the future of day case theatre services.
According to Burton Hospitals NHS Trust, the proposals would save the NHS in the region of £600,000 a year and it pointed out that the number of procedures being carried out had fallen by more than 1,000 in the last seven years.
Tamworth Borough Council’s two overview and scrutiny committees, made up of councillors from different political parties, look at decisions the borough council, Staffordshire County Council and other public services have suggested or taken. It can then challenge decisions and make representations on behalf of residents