MP meets Health Secretary to discuss Rothbury Hospital

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP has met the new Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, in the House of Commons to discuss the ongoing closure of inpatient beds at Rothbury Community Hospital as part of her campaign to keep services at the hospital.  

The Health Secretary agreed to hear Anne-Marie’s case for retaining local palliative and respite services at the hospital in the wake of comments he made confirming the continuing need for community hospitals at Conservative Party Conference in October.

Earlier this week, the Secretary of State launched a scathing attack on the CCG’s consultation process for Rothbury, and ordered them to start again, insisting they now include retaining beds at the hospital as an option.

Anne-Marie said: “The Secretary of State does not usually intervene in such a way, but I am pleased he has listened to my calls for him to do so. He understands the case I have been making about the need for rural beds and he has told the CCG they must take into account the impact of cost, travel and inconvenience to patients, their families and carers into their decision-making process. Crucially, he has insisted that retaining the inpatient beds at Rothbury should be an option and form part of the consideration and impact assessment work carried out, all of which must now be overseen by Healthwatch – the independent national champion for health and social care services.”

In advance of the meeting, Matt Hancock had written to Anne-Marie setting out his criticism of the process so far and that he expects everyone to go back to the drawing board. He has been critical of the way in which the CCG conducted the public consultation (which did not include retaining the inpatient ward as an option) and has instructed them to now work alongside the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the future of the hospital. He has also instructed the CCG and the NHS Trust to work with the local community to decide on the future of health services in Rothbury. 

Anne-Marie also took the opportunity to raise wider concerns about rural services, including those in Berwick:

“This meeting was about Rothbury specifically, but I did take the opportunity to reiterate to Mr Hancock the importance of services in rural areas.  Rural and remote areas require different thinking to meet the challenges faced by patients, and he has now asked his team to brief him on this specifically, and what more can be done to ensure we protect and retain our rural services.  I am very positive about how the meeting went, and we all await the outcome of the CCG’s new work.”

 

 

Photograph: Anne-Marie with Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons yesterday.

 

Below: Matt Hancock’s letter to Anne-Marie sent earlier this week.

 

Anne-Marie’s March 2017 speech to Parliament laying out her case for keeping inpatient beds at Rothbury: HERE.  
 
Her submission to the NHS consultation on the decision is HERE which also offers an overview of her position.
 
Since the consultation, she has raised this issue both with Health Ministers (HERE) and earlier this year with the Prime Minister (HERE).
 

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Letter from Health Secretary regarding Rothbury Hospital 573.74 KB