A councillor today called on hospital bosses to ‘come clean’ after proposals to close services at Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals were leaked.
In a report to the governors last month, the Heart of England Foundation Trust revealed plans to stop all emergency, orthopaedic and colorectal surgery at Good Hope, and urology and gynaecology services at Solihull.
Instead patients will have to travel to Heartlands for most emergency or trauma surgery.
The document entitled HEFT Surgery Reconfiguration: Building a Sustainable Future claims that there will be ‘no impact for most of our patients’.
The report also pointed to the financial challenge faced by the Trust, and the chance to ‘create centres of excellence’.
Earlier this year a public meeting to discuss proposed changes at the Trust was cancelled, and a public consultation is yet to be announced.
But Councillor Rob Pocock (Lab, Sutton Vesey) called for the Trust to engage with the public.
“Up to now there has been too much cloak and dagger”, he said. “The time has passed for that.
“We want our local hospital to be as strong as possible, and there is a real concern the assets are going to be stripped at Good Hope for the benefit of another hospital, and it will be playing second fiddle to Heartlands.
“What we now need is a public meeting, to give the Trust the chance to engage with the public.
“It is time to come clean, and let us know what they have in mind.”
Krys Deegan, from the Campaign to Save Local Services at Good Hope Hospital who are campaigning for a public meeting with the Trust, said: “The Heart Of England Trust’s statement that the changes would have ‘no effect’ on most patients is absolute nonsense and quite frankly, appalling.
“The trust shows a very worrying lack of empathy or caring for the patients it serves. There are huge implications for the patients, in practical, emotional and financial terms.”
A Heart of England Trust spokeswoman said: “A formal public consultation will be launched in the autumn where we will discuss our proposals and ask for views. Our aim is to secure local services, that meet high standards, and to ensure all of our hospitals have a secure and sustainable future.”