ROTHBURY WARD CLOSURE: Berwick MP raises issue with Health Secretary

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Jeremy Hunt and NHS Northumbria's Claire Riley.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Jeremy Hunt and NHS Northumbria's Claire Riley.

MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has flagged up concerns about the closure of the inpatient ward at Rothbury to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

And the Conservative MP for Berwick is also encouraging residents to put pen to paper to help her build an evidence-based case for retaining the beds.

Mrs Trevelyan joined Mr Hunt on a tour of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington last week and she took the opportunity to draw the Minister’s attention to concerns about the decision to temporarily close inpatient beds at Rothbury Community Hospital.

Campaigners are planning a protest tomorrow afternoon at the latest drop-in session with NHS officials.

Speaking of their conversation, Mrs Trevelyan said: “Although this is a local NHS decision, and not one the Secretary of State can interfere with, I thought it was important to tell him about the concerns I have over pressures on rural CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and the budgetary constraints they face.

“It is a lot more expensive to deliver the standard of care our rural populations need and deserve than in a more urban setting. Our local CCG is presently running at a deficit and has been for some time.”

She added: “It is absolutely vital that people get in touch with me to tell me about their experiences of Rothbury and why it has been so important to them as a palliative or respite care option. I need real stories from individuals in order to make the case for retaining the beds effectively.

“I appreciate that many people are anxious, but very few have actually got in touch in response to my call for case studies. I believe the inpatient beds at Rothbury are an incredibly important resource for our local community – if you agree, please email me or write to me with your reasons why and explain how the hospital has helped your family.”