Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed questioned Health Ministers this week regarding the decision to close in-patient beds at Rothbury Community Hospital. The question from Anne-Marie and the answer from Minister of State for Health, Philip Dunne are below;
Anne-Marie Trevelyan “The Secretary of State will be aware of the decision by my Northumberland CCG to close in-patient beds at Rothbury Community Hospital last year. It was done on the premise of underuse, but local sources continue to indicate that it was due to a shortage of nurses at our excellent Northumbria A&E hospital. Following a passionate campaign led by Katie Scott and the Save Rothbury Community Hospital supporters, Northumberland County Council has referred the decision to the Secretary of State for review. I would be grateful if he could update the House on the timescale for a decision
Philip Dunne “I can confirm that the health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee has submitted a request for a review by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. I understand that officials have reverted to the committee to clarify the terms of the referral. Once that has come through to the Department, I am sure that the review will take place”.
Anne-Marie said “I am glad that I could bring this matter to the floor of the House of Commons and get assurances from the Minister regarding a review into this decision. Services such as Rothbury Community Hospital are so vital for the local community. There are real challenges facing healthcare in North Northumberland. The needs of an older and sparsely dispersed population creates its own difficulties, and so we need to ensure that inpatient provision is maintained at Rothbury Community Hospital so that appropriate, cost-effective, nurse-led care for constituents can be provided for. I would like to pay tribute to Katie Scott and the Save Rothbury Community Hospital supporters for their tireless work in trying to save in-patient beds.”
“I have also met this week with the Secretary of State for Health to discuss local care provision in north Northumberland and the issue of Accountable Care Organisations. This is an issue which I am working on with the Government and I look forward to ensuring the healthcare needs of our rural areas are met and patients get the care and treatment that they deserve. Winter is a particularly difficult time of year for the NHS and I am delighted that Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Acute Trust, has been awarded up to £1,019,000 in preparation for this winter by the Department of Health. This is a boost for our healthcare services and will help ensure good patient care and service provision in our patch”.