BURTON’S MP has slammed the decision not to include the town’s Queen’s Hospital among units to be granted funding to aid struggling accident and emergency departments.
Andrew Griffiths was left dumbfounded by the omission and has demanded a rethink.
The Government has allocated £250 million to numerous hospital trusts across the country thought to be most under pressure heading into winter.
But despite the much-publicised events at Queen’s Hospital in recent months, which saw the trust that runs it placed into special measures due to its poor standards, as well as the fact its A&E department is currently understaffed by 10 per cent, ministers did not believe it was in need of urgent support.
Mr Griffiths said he was amazed that just weeks after the trust was one of 11 judged to be in need of urgent improvement following the Keogh report, it was not among 53 trusts to be offered help, which included the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, which is to receive £3.4 million, and the Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which has been allocated £4.5 million.
He said: “It is extremely disappointing that Queen’s should miss out given the difficulties the hospital has been facing.
“The team at Queen’s are having to make serious savings while at the same time trying to improve standards following the Keogh report.
“I think that it is a mistake and I have written to the secretary of state for health (Jeremy Hunt) asking him to re-examine the case for Queen’s Hospital.
“I think they are deserving of extra funding. The hospital is in serious trouble and needs all the help it can get.”
Hospital bosses said they were ‘disappointed and frustrated’ by the snub, but insisted despite they were confident its new £1 million acute assessment centre and planned increase in A&E staff would ease the pressure on the department during the winter.
Director of operations Mark Powell said: “We are hopeful that our plans will be supported by money from the clincical commissioning group so that we can continue to provide a good-quality service over the winter.”