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Save Our NHS Leicestershire

Open Letter to Local Election Candidates from Save Our NHS Leicestershire

By Save Our NHS Leicestershire
April 25, 2019

The following letter was sent to candidates standing in the May 2 Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland council elections, as well as the mayoral candidates in Leicester City. The letter will remain open after the election and can be signed by elected councillors who share our concerns.

To election candidate/agent

Save Our NHS Leicestershire is asking all local election candidates in Leicester and Leicestershire to add their name to a list of signatures to the following open letter. We will publicise the results before election day 2 May 2019. Please add your name to the list by emailing us back with your name, ward, and party. The letter is to the chairman of University Hospitals of Leicester

We have endeavoured to find contact details for as many council candidates as possible, but not all are publicly available – particularly those who are not already councillors. That said, if you could circulate this open letter within your respective organisations it will help to ensure that as many candidates as possible have the chance to read it.

If you are a candidate in the local elections and you have not received this letter but want to pledge your support, please email your name, ward, and party to secretary@saveournhsleicestershire.org.

Faithfully

The Save Our NHS Leicestershire steering committee


University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) is planning to reorganise acute hospital services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland via a project for which it is seeking capital investment from the Department of Health of around £370m. The plans involve closing the General Hospital as an acute hospital and consolidating acute services onto two sites – the Royal Infirmary and the Glenfield. A large amount of land especially at the General Hospital site will then be sold for other use.

Councillors have a key role to play in the NHS locally through the Health and Wellbeing Board and local scrutiny committees. As local election candidates we have concerns about these plans.

  1. Virtually no detail about the plans has been put into the public domain and made available for public scrutiny.  UHL’s detailed pre-consultation business case for reorganising acute services has been kept secret. Opportunities for meaningful change to plans through later formal public consultation will be limited.
  2. UHL’s new plans do not include an increase in the number of beds, despite ongoing problems with capacity in local hospitals. UHL’s spokesman has said the reconfigured hospital facilities will have 2,048 beds. In May 2018, UHL had 2,045 beds. Even though current bed numbers are closer to 2,000, this represents no real increase to address (a) the current capacity constraints and (b) future capacity needs arising from an ageing population, a growing population and rising need.
  3. The local NHS believes an expansion in community services and different pathways of care will offset rising need for hospital care. However, community services are under review and these plans have not yet been written while the previous plans (the Sustainability and Transformation Plan) failed in large part because local NHS leaders were excessively optimistic in what they believed their reorganised services could achieve; as a result, they failed to get ‘the sums to add up’.
  4. Once funding has been agreed in principle for a local hospital plan by the Department of Health, there is a danger it will lock the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland into an inadequate facility for the next twenty years with no hope of large-scale government funding from future government during this period to address the shortage of hospital services. So it is important to get it right now.
  5. Local MPs, councillors and pubic need to know what the details of the hospital plan are and what the details of the wider NHS plans for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are before UHL seeks approval of the pre-consultation business case. It is not clear to us why the detailed plans are being withheld from us and form the public when they are needed for informed engagement.

Signatures so far:

GREEN PARTY

Mags Lewis – Castle Ward and Mayoral candidate

Robert Ball – Spinney Hills

Andy Haynes – Syston East

Geoff Forse – Fosse

Neil McDermott – Saffron

Pam Bellinger – Humberstone and Hamilton

Sarah Read – Eyres Monsell

Hannah Wakley – North Evington

Mary Savigar – Green, Stoneygate

Ursula Bilson- Green, Evington

Dave Dixey – Knighton

Jill Fisher – Castle

LABOUR

Patrick Kitterick – Castle

Rick Middleton – Barwell

Andrew Thomas – Great Bowden & Arden

Stephan Gee -Thurncourt

Sue Waddington – Fosse

David Wenn – Bosworth

Geoff Whittle – Knighton

Lindsay Broadwell – Western

Jean Khote – North Evington

Jewel Miah – Lemyngton Ward (Loughborough)

Lewis James Ashurst – Nanpantan Ward (Loughborough)

Paul Boldrin – Garendon

Kaisra Khan – Sileby

Emma Ward – Dishley and Hathern (Charnwood)

Jacky Nangreave – Westcotes

Gary O’Donnell – Western

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Barbara Johnson – Logan Ward, Market Harborough

Dominic Fosker – Logan Ward, Market Harborough

Martin Cartwright – Groby

SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE

Steve Score – Aylestone and Mayoral candidate

Caroline Vincent – Evington

Satinder Toor – Evington

Franklin O’Riordan – Stoneygate

Sofia Wiking – Knighton

Pete Bisson – Saffron

Darren Baxter – Thurncourt

Tessa Warrington – Braunstone Park and Rowley Fields

Alex Morgan – Beaumont Leys

Andrew Walton – Spinney Hills