Friday, January 3, 2014
A King’s Lynn hospital in “special measures” should not expect to get any further government money until it proves it is making good progress, the area’s MP has said.
North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said it was “unrealistic to expect money just to be given until there’s some firm evidence that we’ve turned the corner” at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
The hospital was taken over by regulator Monitor in October after several shortcomings in the quality of care were revealed.
Union representatives said one of the main reasons that happened was because the hospital was under-funded and said the hospital was owed more money from central government.
Yet Mr Bellingham said: “Some people are saying: ‘Give the hospital more money.’ However one has to be realistic from the Department of Health and NHS England’s point of view.
“They need to be sure the hospital is turning the corner and moving in the right direction.”
However QEH Unison branch secretary Darren Barber pointed out: “We’re working tirelessly hard to make sure the hospital is improved. We can’t work any harder than we are doing.
“We want the money that they owe us. If we had that money, we wouldn’t have as higher deficit and we would be able to improve services.”
Despite his warnings, Mr Bellingham has said: “I am confident the hospital is going in the right direction.”
The QEH was given until New Year’s Eve to be compliant in four warning areas set by the Care Quality Commission.
Mr Bellingham, who has met recently with David Dean – the new hospital trust chairman brought in to help transform standards – said: “Certainly, on the basis of what I was told, the QEH is absolutely on target to meet those areas and I am confident it will do that.”
Do you have a view about how the QEH should be funded? Write, giving your full contact details, to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk