Jesse’s Ross Gazette Column: Hereford County Hospital

Part of an MP's job is to try to spot problems before they arise.

Gazette readers will know that, as well as the hospital in Ross, I have always taken a very close interest in the County Hospital in Hereford.

 

The first debate I ever called in the House of Commons as a new MP was on car parking charges at Hereford Hospital. I ran a highly successful campaign to reduce the cost of the PFI at the Hospital a few years ago; and I later highlighted the risks of a potential merger which might mean the loss of badly needed staff or services.

Last week I discovered that plans were well advanced for a formal link between the South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and the Wye Valley Trust, which runs both Hereford and Ross hospitals.

They come at a time when the Chair of the Hospital has abruptly stepped down, and the Chief Executive is due to move elsewhere.

Moreover, the Care Quality Commission is widely expected to announce this week that the Hospital has now left Special Measures, which would be a very considerable achievement by the staff.

The well-known and highly rated Health Service Journal has supported my position in an article saying that senior personnel from the South Warwickshire Foundation Trust are due to take over as Chair and Chief Executive of the Wye Valley Trust shortly.

Now these changes may be a great idea, and very much in the interest of Ross and Hereford hospitals, the Trust and local patients.  But we have no way of knowing, because there has been no notification or consultation at all with those affected.

I have therefore called for an immediate halt to these plans and highlighted the need for a proper consultation to take place.  Please be assured that I will continue to press the case.