Following concerns expressed by local doctors and others, Michael Fabricant has received a written assurance from Melvyn Ellis, Chief Executive of the South Staffordshire Health Authority, stating that "If the proposal to develop on the St Michael’s site is approved…….. there would not be a gap between the closing of the Victoria Hospital and the opening of the new facilities on the St Michael’s site". Mr Ellis adds, however, that the exceptions to this would be "Day surgery relocation to Tamworth from the Victoria… Any local impact of the national (Government) review of maternity care". The space freed up at the Victoria by the removal of day surgery would be used to provide some of the outpatient and x-ray services lost from the closure of the Hammerwich Hospital. Melvyn Ellis’ statement follows a letter written by Michael Fabricant following concerns that a ‘gap in services’ might arise between the closure of the Victoria and Hammerwich Hospitals and the opening of new services in Lichfield.
While Michael Fabricant welcomes this promise as far as it goes, he says "This promise should not be contingent on the redevelopment of the St Michael’s site. If the Hammerwich Hospital closes, there needs to be closer access for Burntwood patients. The Victoria Hospital site provides this. It is also preferable for public transport access from all locations. I am still awaiting a response from the Health Authority as to the cost of redeveloping the Victoria and other sites. So far nothing has been forthcoming.
"Wherever the new hospital is developed, it is imperative that there be no gap in hospital service provision in Lichfield and Burntwood".