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Funding shortfall ‘threatening health services’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 04, 2014

Andrew Griffiths

Andrew Griffiths

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BURTON’S MP has demanded a meeting with health ministers over what he called the town’s ‘incredibly fragile’ health economy.

Andrew Griffiths said services in Burton were suffering as a result of the way cash was being ‘unfairly’ distributed across the UK.

Speaking in Pariliament, the politician said the town was losing out on millions of pounds compared to other parts of the country and that something needed to be done to ‘bridge the gap’.

Mr Griffiths alluded to the financial difficulties at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, which was running at a £700,000 deficit at the end of 2013.

He has called on senior health ministers in Westminster to meet with him and Queen’s Hospital bosses over the situation.

Addressing parliamentary under-secretary of state for health Daniel Poulter in the House of Commons, he said: “Given that the area is £12 million away from fairer funding, does my honourable friend (Mr Poulter) agree that the health care economy is incredibly fragile locally and that something needs to be done to help us bridge that gap in the short term?

“The minister will have heard about the precarious situation in relation to Queen’s and the East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

“Will the minister agree to meet me, other colleagues and the team from Queen’s hospital and the CCG in order to discuss our concerns and find a solution that improves services locally?”

In response to Burton’s MP, Mr Poulter said: “I will be delighted to meet my honorable friends to talk further about local issues.

“There are long-standing concerns, not least the processes triggered by the Keogh review in the trust and the wider health economy.”

Mr Poulter also acknowledged that Burton’s hospital had begun to move in the right direction since being placed into special measures last year and Mr Griffiths also paid tribute to the efforts of staff.

He said: “The staff there are working incredibly hard to improve standards and are taking big strides forward.”

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