Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nailing the Tories' NHS Scares

I've just been sent this via email;

Following recent press reports in the Northern Echo and Darlington & Stockton Times, Councillors Mrs Scott & Mrs Swift have recently met with Edmund Lovell from the County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust to discuss the matter further.
Mr Lovell advised that no decision on the future of the gynaecology services would be made by the Trust until October 2007 and the Social Affairs & Health Scrutiny Committee will kept informed.
3 Options have been discussed, with staff:-
Option 1 - Multi Speciality Surgical Ward - Gynaecology services move to Floor 3 to form a Women's Surgery Ward.
Option 2 - Move women's surgery upstairs to Ward 62 to include Gynaecology, Breast and Urology.
Option 3 - Move Anti-Natal and Geology out-patients services to Ward 62.
Mr Lovell has also confirmed that Darlington Memorial Hospital is not under threat and never has been.

The Tories have been running a national story about the NHS, which has sought to sow cynicism, and the pretence that any change is somehow a cut. Here in Darlington, local Tory activists shamefully have tried to suggest that the Memorial itself is under threat. I've found that on the doorstep, fortunately, people are wise to the Tories' tactics. The clarification from the DMH is therefore welcome.


Anonymous said...

The Memorial is buzzing with grapevine news that a super hospital is to be built in Sedgefield area replacing Darlo , Bishop & Durham's hospitals. The health staff fear for their future. Never mind "the NHS is safe in Labour's hands" !!!. Roll on May 3rd when NHS staff can have their say on this, & their derisory pay award, via the ballot box !

Darlington Councillor said...

So let me get this straight. Millions have recently been spent renewing hospitals in Durham City and Bishop Auckland. Darlington Memorial serves the largest conurbation in SW Durham. And yet there are plans to jettison all of these hospitals in favour of a super-hospital in Sedgefield (where far fewer people live)??

An informed NHS source tonight told me that these rumours were "complete and utter b*llocks!"

I can't believe that any sensible NHS staff will be concerned about these claims for more than a nanosecond.

I do worry, however, that the Tories have learned all the wrong lessons from the FibDems about campaigning tactics. Repeating the most outrageous lie about a service that thousands depend upon will ultimately rebound on them very badly indeed.

Paul Leake said...

DC: too right, although all parties have done similar in opposition, and in Government made (unwise?) pledges in the heat of elections that aren't entirely kept (eg. the pledge that Hartlepool would keep its hospital made during the 2004 by-election - now it looks likely that at some point a single new hospital will replace Hartlepool and North Tees, and be sited near Stockton). One of the things that frustrated me most about the Lib Dems were the uninformed knee-jerk reactions on hospitals etc.

Anon: would certainly agree about the anger over the NHS pay award - I think it really is hitting Labour support amoung NHS staff, though I can't see the Tories having done any better.

Paul Leake said...

Incidentally, given the possible new North Tees superhospital would be sited to serve 'the people of Hartlepool, Stockton, Easington and Sedgefield', that could explain the source of the confusion.