It is astonishing that our local NHS leaders in the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have only just published the Report of Findings following last year’s important consultation on the future of the acute hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (Building Better Hospitals For the Future). This Report of Findings is an analysis of public responses to the consultation. The CCGs have had the report since the end of March but, until Wednesday of this week, had declined to make it available to the public even when requested to do so.
The CCGs are now saying they wish to have what appears to be a decision-making meeting about what will happen to our hospitals as early as 8th June before there is any opportunity for wider public discussion of the findings from the consultation and what these might mean. The Report of Findings is 760 pages long! And it has been shared with the public less than two weeks before the decision making meeting. This does not give a chance, for local residents who are interested, to digest what the public said in the consultation so that they can then assess whether the final decision on the future of our hospitals seems a fair one.
As far as we know, no-one wants to turn down the prospect of much needed investment in our hospitals. However, there were contentious aspects of the proposals for change – which included not planning for bed numbers after 2024, selling off most of the Leicester General estate and closing two hospitals (the Leicester General as an acute hospital and St Mary’s birth centre in Melton Mowbray).
The CCGs have said the meeting of 8th June is subject to change and we call on them to postpone this meeting until there has been ample time for the public to digest the findings of the consultation. We urge them to delay the finalisation of the “Decision Making” document until after there has been adequate scrutiny, including by the relevant local authority committee.