A claim is being made that the proposed plans for City Hospital in West Birmingham will put an ethically diverse area at a great disadvantage (the area is already high on many indices of deprivation).
I visited Handsworth Wood Ward Sub-Committee this week. Only two councillors were present while the turn out of residents was pitiful. There was a speaker from City Hospital speaking about the proposed new hospital in Grove Lane, Smethwick which is the next step in the merging of two hospitals, City and Sandwell. At present it seems that anyone from this part of Birmingham being taken by ambulance to hospital for emergency treatment will be ferried to Sandwell Hospital. This is highly inaccessible for Birmingham residents, greatly so if relatives and friends rely on public transport.
THe fact the the trust is called Sandwell and West Birmingham suggests which is the dominant partner, and as I pointed out before there have been no voices on the Trust from Birmingham Bill Thomas, Leader of Sandwell Council is a member. Bill and some of Sandwell’ MPs have close links with the New Labour leadership. including Gordon Brown.
This latest report adds considerably to the concerns about proposals for the two hospitals. It certainly isn’t coming across that this is another hospital closure. Two hospitals, City and Sandwell closing around 2014 and one PFI funded hospital opening. Is it affordable. Other hospital PFI schemes have run into difficulty when funds have gone to pay off costs rather than for treatment of patients.
City Hospital Campaign.