At this afternoon’s meeting of the Sandwell and Hospital Trust a presentation was given on the findings following consultation. The written comments were from a very small sample with many more women than men responding. Older people were more likely to respond than the young, and, most worrying, the majority who responded were white British. This indicates that the Trust has failed to connect with large sections of our diverse community whose health needs are so great.
The composition of the Trust Board seems odd too. Its chair is a Sandwell Councillor, and later the Leader of Sandwell Council arrived to take his seat on the board. He appeared to sleep through most of the proceedings. This means that there appears to be little representation of Birmingham. Sandwell will end up with a brand new hospital while Birmingham’s will close.
My point that this is a hospital closure was confirmed by the chair who felt that having new facilities and closing down 150 year old buildings justified this. One speaker confirmed that a number of specialisms had already gone to University and Heartland Hospitals. Health is now like virtually everything else part of a competitive culture rather than one based on need.
It is to be hoped that the Health Scrutiny Committee on Birmingham City Council will now refer this to the Secretary of State. The Board have always considered they know best and decided they were going to push this through whatever. It’s clear that staff have not been adequately consulted and many are extremely unhappy with the proposals.
See video of concerns.
Birmingham Mail 11/5/2007
Note: website referred to in comment below.