Thursday, April 19, 2007

Letter to CHSG Members 11/04/07

The following letter was sent to City Hospital Supporters Group Members on 11th April 2007. If you wish to attend the meeting on the 24th April 2007 you would be more than welcome, even if you are not currently a member.

Dear Member,

The consultation period for the reconfiguration of services within the Trust ended on the 15th March. We marked this important milestone by presenting a petition of 1150 signatures opposing the Trust's proposals to Councillor Deirdre Alden the Chair of the Birmingham City Council's Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee. As you may know this important committee has rejected the reconfiguration proposals. As a result of public pressure so far, the Trust has changed its stance on Paediatrics and we believe they have opted for a 24 hour Children's Assessment Unit. This is better than nothing but it will not be as good as the present service. Ill children needing more than 24 hours in hospital will still have to be shipped elsewhere and ambulances may take seriously ill children elsewhere right from the start.
We await progress in surgery, and understand that the Trust is considering either a 24 hour Surgical Assessment Unit or maintaining the status quo. The latter would be infinitely preferable as the former would again mean that seriously ill people would have to be moved after 24 hours or once again the ambulance service may decide to take them elsewhere. Our goal has always been to ensure that local people do not suffer a worse service while they await the new hospital which at the moment is at least 6 or 7 years away. We are also concerned that if the new hospital either never happened, or was seriously reduced in size, services lost from the present City Hospital would never be regained for the people of Birmingham.
I believe that people within City Hospital and in the community realise that City Hospital Supporters have had an important influence on the consultation to date. I also believe that there is still a major job of work to be done (1) to ensure we get the best possible result announced in May (2) to ensure that all services continue at both City and Sandwell while we await the new hospital and (3) to ensure that the new hospital is delivered as promised. We have exclusively represented the interests of City Hospital over the reconfiguration because broadly it is the services at City Hospital that are in jeopardy. However now is the time for us to consider the full picture and I would like to see a City and Sandwell Hospitals Supporters Group. I know that many others at both hospitals share this view. In our small way we have demonstrated that ordinary people on the staff and in the community can influence events. Working together is the key. Do come to our next meeting when we will be very much considering the future.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Taylor

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