Category Archives: Health centres
The huge new health centres on Clodeshall Road in Washwood Heath and on the Bromford and Firs were amongst our biggest achievements in Hodge Hill.
But now the new government is in power, and their new “Clinical Commissioning Groups” started work in the city on 1st April . Now we’ve learned there are SIX different parts of the NHS responsible for our health centres. What a mess!
Cllr Tim Evans and I sat down with the new NHS team a couple of weeks ago to plot a way forward. The NHS has agreed we’ve got to simplify things – and come up with a real vision for the future. So I’ll be helping to lead a delegation to Bromley by Bow in London to look around the greatest health hub in Britain to steal a few ideas!
Progress at last!
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!
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.
Some of you might have seen a story in The Times today, which suggested that hospitals would close as a result of the savings and efficiencies in spending in the Department of Health, part of a wider programme of savings across government which I am driving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
This is wrong. The Times accepted that they’d made a mistake and overnight they changed the way the story was written to more accurately reflect what I said in the interview.
In the interview, I specifically said that hospitals would NOT have to close as a result of these savings. What I DID say is that hospitals will do more of their work in community health centres and the like. These centres – we’re going to get three in Hodge Hill – are more convenient, efficient and cheaper. And patients like them.
The Health Secretary Andy Burnham has said many times that he wants more care provided in the community, rather than in hospitals. Of course, if you start providing more care in the community, you might be able to stop using certain buildings on hospital sites – but ‘closing buildings’ is a world away from “hospital closures”!
For the record, here’s the relevant part of the interview transcript:
EXCERPT FROM INTERVIEW WITH LIAM BYRNE
INTERVIEWERS ARE RACHEL SYLVESTER AND ALICE THOMSON OF THE TIMES
FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2010
Is it going to mean hospitals are going to close?
No, I don’t think it is, but I do think that some hospitals will have to start doing more of their care in the community rather than in, you know, big expensive buildings, so we’re getting three health centres, big new health centres, in Hodge Hill, thanks to the fantastic constituency MP [sound of laughter from journalists] and a lot of hospitals will be able to do more of their work in centres like that which are in many ways more convenient
So you might be able to close some of the hospital buildings?
Yes, well, a lot of hospitals I think are thinking about moving some of their business out into the community because it’s better care, it’s better quality, it’s more convenient, it’s round the corner, you know. It’s also cheaper.
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.