Don’t claim praise for new hospital unit

Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General Hospital.
Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General Hospital.

I feel I must respond quite strongly about the contents in a recent Lib-Dem flyer, namely Focus, and its heading “Delivered.”

I’m sorry but the article which accompanies this headline is quite simply out of order and wrong.

Yes Gordon, we all welcome the new unit but I do think you are not telling the people of Burnley exactly how it is.

For starters, you are saying you wouldn’t give up the fight to improve hospital services in Burnley. Well, come on, most people have got good memories and they remember what you actually said and that was you wouldn’t give up the fight to get the A&E unit returned to Burnley and in that you failed but, and here’s the rub, it would seem like the new unit was proposed around 2010 and, yes, you might have lobbied Alexander on the funding, but I see no mention of lobbying George Osborne, or in fact the head honcho in the Treasury David Cameron.

Yes, I think it would have to be passed by him, being first lord of the Treasury and just to remind you of your position in this (and I am in no way trying to claim you had no input at all), the announcement to the Commons by your buddy at the time, Andrew Lansley, that a bid for Government cash from East Lancashire Hospitals Trust for the building of a new urgent care centre had been a success, note no mention of a bid by Gordon Birtwistle.

As for the new unit, yes, it’s brilliant in so far as it’s light and airy and offers much more privacy than the old unit but the only ambulance bay is situated at the side of the building. My point being that that is exactly the same number of bays as the old one, even to the positioning of the exit/entrance doors, the original out of hours doctors was based in the outpatients before being moved to the St Peter’s Centre and there are two waiting rooms, plus the same amount of treatment rooms, one for adults and one for children, actually exactly the same as the old unit.

The only new unit is the children’s occupational therapy unit upstairs and that’s not really new as it used to be based at Reedley Hall and had to be moved because Reedley wasn’t seen as being fit for purpose so, to sum up, it’s a brand new building like I said earlier, but to claim it was delivered by you and your bunch of Lib-Dems? I don’t think so.

K. Royle

Mizpah Street, Burnley