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Hospital services at risk of moving

FEARS have been reignited about services at Solihull Hospital being moved outside the borough.

FEARS have been reignited about services at Solihull Hospital being moved outside the borough.

Patient Ken Fletcher was told last month, by staff, that the urology unit (Ward 14) was closing.

The 69-year-old, who was in hospital for a prostate operation, heard that services would be transferred to Heartlands and Good Hope.

But during a follow-up appointment this week he was informed that hospital bosses had done a u-turn and the department would remain.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust confirmed they were in discussions about hospital services, but would not comment on their specific plans for the unit.

Mr Fletcher, of Blossomfield Road, warned that shutting departments could cause major problems for elderly and disabled residents.

“The care I received from staff at Solihull was wonderful,” he said. “So why would they want to move the services away?

“My wife is disabled, so if I’d had to go for treatment at Heartlands she would have struggled to visit me.”

Solihull MP Lorely Burt described the urology department as “first class” and said she would challenge any plans to move it.

The news follows last year’s controversy over the move to a midwife-led maternity unit, only capable of handling low-risk births.

On May 25, health chiefs are expected to announce that the changes, introduced in July, will be permanent.

During a visit to Solihull last week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that patients must be consulted on issues.

“There are constantly challenges and changes in the NHS under whichever Government,” he said.

“They key thing though is to make sure that local people are properly involved.”

In a statement, Heart of England said they were in the “early stages” of looking at how services in Solihull should be run.

“We are focused on providing local services for local people,” said a spokesman.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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