Following the visit of Lichfield midwives Helen Giles, Sue Grosvenor, Julie Baker, Shirley MacDonald and GP Dr Gerbo Huisman to the House of Commons on Wednesday 18th July, Michael Fabricant says "It’s time for the Health Authority and the Government to stop mouthing platitudes about health care in Lichfield and Burntwood and instead start guaranteeing the long-term future of our maternity unit and other hospital services.
"Despite Tony Blair admitting to me in the House of Commons that there is underfunding of our South Staffordshire Health Authority to the tune of around ‘£5 million each year’, he is taking no steps to rectify the situation. And now a senior civil servant, Dr Sheila Adams who is the deputy chief medical officer at the Department of Health, has emphasised to local midwives at their meeting in Westminster ‘the importance the Government places on planning services round the needs of women and their families in order to provide children with the best possible start in life’. However, the Health Authority has a rolling deficit of around £6 million and they admit that their proposals to close the Victoria, Hammerwich and Barton Hospitals will save £1 million each year in running costs.
"Until the Government rectifies the funding crisis in the NHS in Staffordshire, hospital facilities in Lichfield and Burntwood will deteriorate. Local people should show their solidarity with the need to keep hospital services in Lichfield by joining the march organised by the Lichfield Hospitals Comforts Fund Committee which starts at noon at St Michael’s Hospital in Lichfield on Saturday 11th August."