Hospital care ‘at risk’ in cuts
8:47am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
BOLTON’S MPs have vowed to protect the quality of patient care at the Royal Bolton Hospital as health bosses try to save £50 million in three years.
Yasmin Qureshi and David Crausby said they will raise the issue of spending cuts in Parliament after they met union officers at the hospital to discuss their fears about the future of health care.
The MPs also want to meet Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s chairman David Wakefield and the acting chief executive Dr Jackie Bene to talk about their concerns and ask how they plan to guarantee patient safety.
The trust, which is being monitored by health watchdog Monitor for financial failings, is now more than £14.5 million in debt and is losing about £1.7 million each month.
Government cuts mean it must also save £50 million over the next three years.
Ms Qureshi, who represents Bolton South East, said: “There is a clear concern that if the money is cut there is a possibility of the care provided being cut. We need to be absolutely sure that it doesn’t affect patient safety.”
Ms Qureshi said the issue was of national concern, to individual trusts and the NHS in general.
Mr Crausby, MP for Bolton North East, said he had been impressed with the union’s commitment to staff and members of the public who use the services.
He said: “We are being told that patient care won’t suffer, but if you take £50 million out then it seems inev- itable that patient care will suffer. We want to make sure that these cuts do not result in the same sort of debacle that we had with Mid Staffs.”
Harry Hanley, the secretary of Staff Side, which represents hospital workers, said the meeting had been “positive”. He added: “We feel that both MPs had the same fears as us and are willing to work with us.
“We will work with the trust to get out of the financial situation, but we won’t work with them to pull the trust apart.”
Staff Side will meet Bolton West MP Julie Hilling on March 3.