Following news that the decision on the future of hospital services in Lichfield and Burntwood is to be deferred until after June 7th (the expected date of the general election), it has now been confirmed by the Chairman of the South Staffordshire Health Authority that at £654 per person per year, our area is the least well funded in the country. Meanwhile, the South Staffordshire Health Authority has a running deficit of £6 million which the Government expects repaid though no extra funding is being provided. This is putting pressure on the Health Authority to reduce service in Lichfield and Burntwood.
At a meeting with some local MPs and the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Health Authority at the House of Commons, Michael Fabricant requested an analysis of the funding problem. David Murray, Chairman of the Authority, has just written to MPs with the information revealing the financial problem.
Michael Fabricant says "This funding crisis is grave news indeed for the people of Lichfield and Burntwood. My fear is that recommendations regarding the future of the Victoria Hospital in Lichfield and the Hammerwich Hospital and the services provided in the area will be driven by financial criteria rather than the need to provide services locally. This issue, together with underfunding of education in Staffordshire, needs to be addressed urgently and I will be taking this up with Ministers – in and out of the Commons Chamber – as a matter of urgency. With a City growing in size through new house building, services need to be improved not sliced down".