Health bosses insist St Cross hospital is safe

Radical plans threatening massive change in the NHS will not mean St Cross will close, according to health bosses.

St Cross Hospital.
St Cross Hospital.

The alarm was raised on Friday after the BBC and others highlighted the Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

NHS bodies across the country have been grouped into 44 new footprint areas and told to come up with plans to improve health - and cut costs.

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Friday’s headlines highlighted analysis which showed hospitals at risk, including in Leicestershire.

There was no detail for Coventry and Warwickshire, leaving the question open about threats to our area.

Rugby Trade Union and Socialist Coalition spokesman Pete McLaren said: “According to the few leaks we have, these cuts could include fewer hospital beds at a time when more are needed, fewer emergency ambulances, closure of doctor surgeries and/or A&E departments/Walk-in centres.

“It could even mean the complete closures of Rugby St Cross and Nuneaton’s George Eliot hospitals.”

The Advertiser put these concerns to UHCW chief executive Andy Hardy who heads our footprint board.

A spokesman said: “The next draft of the STP is due to be submitted to NHS England in October 2016. However we are clear that no hospital closures are currently being planned in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

And Prof Hardy added: “For too long, the focus has been on supporting our communities when they’re in crisis or ill rather than on keeping them healthy and independent.

“This is an old fashioned way to care for people which is often unequal across the same area and more expensive than helping keep people well in the first place.

“As a result health and social care bodies across Coventry and Warwickshire are working more closely together than ever before.

“I can confirm that no changes to the services people currently receive will be made without local engagement and, where required, consultation.”