What a farce the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) ‘decision making’ meeting was on Wednesday, September 27.
Around 150 Coquetdale residents packed into Morpeth Town Hall to hear the CCG officers persuade the board to permanently close Rothbury Hospital’s 12 beds in the new, purpose-built hospital.
The board didn’t need any persuasion, however. This is primarily because the majority of the members were the same CCG personnel making the proposals. They were voting on their own proposal.
And how much did this ‘consultation’ cost?
What on earth was the point of it when the voice of every single resident was totally and utterly ignored?
NHS England says: “We must put citizen and patient voices at the heart of every decision we take in purchasing, commissioning and providing services.”
It should have a word with our CCG, which seems driven to close community wards and maternity services.
It should stand up and say, or indeed shout, to the Department of Health: “We cannot carry on closing services, we need more money.”
The CCG’s final choice, if it has its way, is to make Rothbury Community Hospital become the most expensive office accommodation in the whole of Northumberland.
Remember, the hospital still bears the burden of the PFI repayments.
The Save Rothbury Hospital Campaign Group is not finished fighting this ludicrous decision.
Co-ordinator, Save Rothbury Hospital Campaign