I am sorry if it appears I have written more letters than usual; but I feel extremely strongly that I should be able to express my feelings on certain aspects of our MP’s comments in his Westminster Week column, after all he is open to criticism from the people he is supposed to represent.
The headline tells it all; he keeps referring to the new unit as Burnley’s New Emergency Unit, yet it is nothing of the sort.
He goes on with the column that this is something he has fought long and hard for, well I would ask him to produce evidence of this as the record in Hansard, the official record of all Parliamentary verbal activity, does not bear this claim out.
If you will forgive me, could I interject with a personal occurrence which happened to myself early last week. I have the misfortune of suffering from a condition called divertriculitis, a very painful complaint on the bowel. If it gets to a stage where it becomes unbearable I have to ring 111, who in turn send for an ambulance. This is exactly what happened last week.
I was informed I was to be takento Blackburn and I asked if the new unit at Burnley General Hospital was open now, to which the reply was it wouldn’t make any difference as you are being treated as an emergency and the new unit is an urgent care unit. The reason given was that it has no emergency ward, or equipped to carry out certain emergency procedures.
The explanation went on that, yes, we could take you to Burnley but they, after making certain checks, would send for another ambulance to take you to Blackburn anyway. This indeed did turn out to be the case, I think I got an explanation direct from the horse’s mouth so to speak.
So, I can’t give any credence to this or any claims the MP makes about the Urgent Care Unit but I would add that again, according to Hansard, the very idea of an A&E unit returning to Burnley General Hospital is a non-starter. This is also a claim not made by one, but two, health ministers.