THE question that pops into mind following news of the staff cuts at Heart of England Foundation Trust is - what future now for Solihull Hospital?
Already unions are warning that this could be the thin end of the wedge for a hospital that has already seen many services go to Heartlands eight miles up the road.
Assurances will be made but the chances are that the upshot of it all is sure to be greater centralisation of expertise in a location where all the care is to hand - in other words, Heartlands.
No doubt in HEFT’s examination of the various permutations the idea of a Solihull reduced to a minor injuries unit, outpatients, long stay beds, plus the shorn maternity unit has been pushed around.
Think too of the money they’d make from selling off the spare land for housing.
The other hospital under HEFT’s wing is Good Hope in Sutton Coldfield - however it looks after a large swathe of Tamworth and Lichfield, so would appear to be less in the firing line.
The chief executive Mark Newbold implies that these new losses can be accommodated through ‘natural wastage’ which is scant consolation for those who are left to soldier on with the extra workload.
Moral must be suffering too, but as staff aren’t allowed to talk to the press, we’ll just have to guess how they feel, but it’s doubtful if they’re jumping for joy.