Last week I met the new Chief Executive, Dr Mark Newbold, of the Heartlands hospital, to hear about how the government’s misguided shake-up of the NHS is going to hit local residents. It’s clear, we just don’t know how bad it’s going to get. Much depends on whether we can get local care in place to reduce the pressure on what’s clearly an already very, very busy hospital. Thank heavens we’ve two new mega-centres funded by Labour, about to open in Washwood Heath and the Bromford.
The good news is that Dr Newbold is determined to put basic standards of compassionate care at the top of his list – and is actively looking at new ways for the hospital which employs 10,000 people, to boost local employment and training prospects in Hodge Hill. More on this to follow.
But, what’s already clear is that since the new Tory-led government took over, the number of people getting treatment within 18 weeks is falling – its back to 2008 levels already. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this. The public will not forgive this government failing the NHS.
Friday found me on Clodeshall Road inspecting progress on our new £12 million health centre. It is incredible!
- Liam Byrne up on the 3rd floor of the new health centre
It’s basically the size of a small hospital, with a three storey glass fronted atrium stretching down the centre of the building, consulting rooms, x-ray facilities, community spaces, and a community cafe. Upto 50 people are working through-out the week to get the building finished to the very highest environmental standards.
The construction team brief Liam on progress
The good news is the construction team leaders tell me their plan is on-track to hand over the community next April. It’s going to make the world of difference.
Liam Byrne MP today met with the head of Birmingham City Council Highways and Transport Department, David Bull at the site of the new health centre on Firs Farm Drive.
The Member of Parliament for Hodge Hill has fought hard for three new local health centres, but is determined that they should be designed by the community to meet community needs.
Local residents are delighted to see £10million being spent on the new health centre which is set to open its doors in 2011, but are frustrated about access plans. Many are worried that the access road is not wide enough and that it will impede residential parking.
This will be a world class health centre for local families, but it is vital the planners get it right. Residents are worried that the access road isn’t wide enough for extra traffic so I’ve bought the Head of Highways to see for himself.