Following his meeting with the Burntwood, Lichfield, and Tamworth Primary
Care Trust on Friday (see News Release dated 3rd May 2002), Michael
Fabricant asked Hazel Blears – a junior Health Minister – in the House
of Commons Chamber today whether the Government would provide the £3 million
shortfall in funding needed for construction of the £11.8 million proposed
new hospital in Lichfield. Michael Fabricant now says "Both the Trust
and I are keen that capital funding is made available and the hospital is
not paid for on the ‘never never’: by the Private Finance Initiative
which will reduce the money available for the running of the hospital."
The Minister could not confirm how the new hospital will be funded. "I
hope the Government will make the funding position clear before the PCT
Board Meeting on May 15th when the Board is expected to recommend in
principle the construction of the new hospital", adds Michael Fabricant.
In answering the question, Ms Blears listed the facilities that will be
available in the new hospital saying all was being provided by a Labour
Government. She failed to mention that the list of facilities is less than
the services currently available in Lichfield and did not address the total
closure of the hospital in Burntwood.
(She also misquoted a passage contained in this very website and this will
be subject to a procedural motion in the Chamber tomorrow or Thursday).