MPs to debate town's healthcare
7:16am Mon Jan 07, 2013
Healthcare in Newark will be the subject of an adjournment debate when parliament returns today.
The MP for Newark, Mr Patrick Mercer, said there were three main points for debate:

o The financial problems of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation trust, which runs Newark Hospital.

o The potential for upgrading the hospital’s minor injuries unit.

o The failings of East Midlands Ambulance Service and proposed changes to the way it operates.

The debate will take place at about 10pm.

Mr Mercer will make his case to a health minister and attempt to secure a ministerial visit to the hospital.

He said: “We have also been told that if we have a clinical case for the upgrading of the minor injuries unit ministers will look at it.”

The independent NHS watchdog, Monitor, last year found the trust to be in significant breach of its general duty to function effectively, efficiently and economically; and in its governance duty.

An area of concern was the under-use of Newark Hospital.

It is also struggling to cope with the cost of Private Finance Initiative repayments in the £320m development of King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield, which could eventually cost £2bn to repay.

Consultation is over on EMAS proposals to close 12 ambulance stations in Nottinghamshire and replace them with two hubs at Sutton-in-Ashfield and Nottingham, with 22 standby points.

“I have firmly lodged in my mind that we have to have a better service,” said Mr Mercer.

“I don’t hold a torch for Newark Ambulance Station — it’s a parking garage. But the ambulance service must improve its service to Newark, and more specifically, the rural areas around Newark.”

Mr Mercer said the chief executive of EMAS, Mr Phil Milligan, admitted the service was not good enough in the Newark area.

Mr Mercer hoped a commitment to a ministerial visit to Newark Hospital would reassure people that healthcare provision was moving forward the hospital’s future was secure.

“People in the Newark area have genuine deep concerns over healthcare and need to be reassured,” he said.

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