In a letter to Michael Fabricant, Health Minister Yvette Cooper has refused point blank to meet with the Lichfield Hospitals Comforts Fund Committee who had requested to meet her to discuss the services at the Victoria Hospital whose future has been under review for around 3 years.
Ms Cooper says in her letter "A meeting to discuss the future of an individual hospital would not be appropriate at this stage". She says that she hopes that "agreement on the way forward can be reached locally".
But Michael Fabricant says: "The Government caused this debacle in the first place through the abolition of GP Fundholding and the switching of finances away from local hospitals. The Victoria Hospital has been under threat for 3 years now and we still don’t know the future of the maternity, minor injuries, surgical, or dialysis units. Government Ministers cannot continue to pass the buck like this and blame the local health authority. Yvette Cooper’s sudden refusal to meet with the Lichfield Hospitals Comforts Fund Committee is a slap in the face to local people. Ministers should be prepared to hear local concerns at first hand.
"Perhaps then she would learn that the Victoria Hospital was built brick by brick with local money and that Lichfield people have a continued stake in the future of the Hospital. I am afraid that this sudden refusal to meet with local people demonstrates arrogant Government at its worst and I will be telling the Minister this at the earliest opportunity."