SOLIHULL MP Lorely Burt has accused health bosses of spending thousands on trying to convince patients about the new maternity services.
Yesterday, Solihull NHS Care Trust confirmed that £150,000 had been set aside to cover the “additional costs” of the consultation process, saying the sum would be shared by themselves and Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust.
Money will be used on public events, workshops and the consultation itself - due to begin later in the year.
But cash will also be provided for “communications support” - with Mrs Burt claiming that £40,000 was being spent on a public relations expert.
“How can they expect us to have any faith that this will be a fair and open hearing?” she said.
A care trust spokesman said: “Communications and engagement support will be provided by Claire Austin, who has wide experience in that role across the West Midlands.
“Both trusts are committed to consulting with communities who would potentially be affected by this review and this is reflected in the setting aside of additional money to ensure that happens.”
Solihull NHS Care Trust also explained the £150,000 estimate was a part of proposals going to board members next month.
It’s understood that the interim set-up will begin on April 26 - later than first expected. Once training is complete, high-risk births will be sent elsewhere, with Solihull operating as a midwifery-led unit.