Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop, slammed a proposal by the South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust to close the Chaloner Ward at Guisborough Community Hospital as ‘possibly the precursor to the total closure of the hospital and the end of hospital based health care in the town’.
The Chaloner Ward is an 8 bed unit providing palliative care, post operative and respite care with dedicated Nursing care for a variety of medical conditions. There is also an out patient suite and minor injuries unit.
Tom said ‘The statement that the Trust are seeking to close the ward could mean the eventual end of the hospital. Already the Maternity service has been lost, and this would only leave a residual out patient service and the Priory Ward on the site. I think there is a not so hidden agenda here and I see this move as foreshadowing a future total closure and redevelopment of a valuable site.”
“I know the Trust have had severe cash cuts imposed on them by David Cameron and George Osborne, and that currently they are, according to their Finance Director, carrying a deficit of £3.3 million behind plan in terms of delivering productivity and efficiency savings.”
“We all remember the billboard posters at the time of the last election when David Cameron said ‘he’d cut the deficit not the NHS’. We now see the truth of this. Nationally 56,000 NHS staff are to go and what we see at Guisborough is local picture of a national scandal. I do not believe that redundancies there in the medium term cannot be written off.”
“I do not think the staff and the people of Guisborough will take this lying down. We have already seen the anger on the streets of the town over the attempted closure of the Royal Mail Delivery Centre, the scrapping of a new Laurence Jackson School build and the closure of the town’s courthouse. I predict the anger over this move will be even more intense. The ward has been there a long time, and almost every local family will have had loved ones pass through the ward at some time, or have used the minor injuries unit. This closure will not go unchallenged on my watch.”