Health Boss Slams Campaigners

SENIOR managers have hit back following "unhelpful" remarks by campaigners which have left many residents in an East Coast resort fearful for the future of their hospital. A decision to close Bridlington Hospital's Cardiac Monitoring Unit (CMU) has sparked a massive campaign, an 8,000-name petition and calls for Health Secretary Alan Johnson to intervene.

It has also led to a letter by representatives of Bridlington's five surgeries, on behalf of more than 20 doctors, saying the closure could put lives at risk.

However Lynne Young, who was brought in by the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust to oversee the restructuring of acute medical services in both Bridlington and Scarborough, insisted the changes were necessary and would improve services.

Contrary to the rumours, no one was going to lose their job and in fact in future "significantly more" people would be employed at Bridlington, she said.

The few emergency acute beds that would go would be replaced by beds for intermediate and acute rehabilitation.

The plan would also provide a greater array of services at Bridlington, particularly in day surgery, with cardiac care provide in hospitals with the right level of emergency back-up either Scarborough, Hull or York.

She said: "It is unfortunate that the focus has been on the loss of the cardiac beds rather than on the greater redesign which will lead to services that will be really useful to a greater number of the population in Bridlington.

"Despite what everyone thinks in Bridlington, it is not a cardiac care unit, it is a monitoring unit.

"The comments are worrying the public unnecessarily and are very unhelpful.

"The bottom line is that at Bridlington there is no intensive care unit, no accident and emergency services and no 24-hour anaesthetic cover, which are the basics for providing acute emergency medical care."

The changes will mean some patients not having to travel to Scarborough for a range of surgical procedures which might include some breast services.

She said: "This is about opening Bridlington up and giving people access to more consultants with more specialist skills.

"This is a transformational change; I know it's not going to be easy but it's going to improve the outcome for patients I am really confident about that."

The shake-up of services has the support of emergency care czar Prof Sir George Alberti who visited the hospital twice and concluded no change was "untenable".

The professor has acknowledged that moving acute services to Scarborough had presented some problems but concluded these were all "soluble".

He has also recommended that an emergency care clinic be held at least six days a week a move which the Trust is about to implement as well as opening an assessment unit for older people, staffed by a consultant geriatrician.

Ms Young said they had started to have a constructive dialogue with GPs and that all 20 had been invited to a meeting next week with her, chief executive Iain McInnes, and chief nurse Teresa Fenech.

Before October all paramedics are also being trained to administer clot-busting drugs to patients travelling to hospital.

Mick Pilling adds:

The Petition & Campaign as been organised by the Save Bridlington Hospital Campaign Action Group's chairman Mick Pilling who as condemned the Scarborough NHS Trusts latest move as ludicrous.  Mick says the Cardiac Monitoring Unit is a life saver; it as saved hundreds of lives over the past few years it as been running in Bridlington.

We firmly believe that the removal of the 6 bed CMU will and could result in the loss of lives as patients are taken to either Scarborough, York or Hull, it as also been stated that if the Scarborough Hospitals Heart Unit is full and no beds are available patients could end up in Middlesborough? Mick Pilling can tell you that the Petition at the moment stands at 14,500+  and is increasing daily as the towns people get behind this Petition to halt removal of the CMU and Acute Medical services also under threat, the towns people have categorically stated the Scarborough NHS Trust should be building up the services at Bridlington a hospital which celebrates been open 20 years this year.

There as been very little investment in this modern Bridlington hospital which is clean and sustainable given the right infrastructure and cash investment.

The CMU had to be closed recently because there were not enough staff to run it, it re-opened later that day when staff were found.  Staff are leaving the CMU because the Scarborough Trust are not recruiting at present and the uncertainty which as been placed on the CMU makes there job prospects insecure, we believe this is un-called-for and the Trust should do more to retain the existing staff because if staff leave it will mean the Trust can then say "we have to close the Unit through Health & Safety issue", a ploy used by the Trust on many occasions, just take a look at the Minor Injuries Unit that closed some 17 months ago because staff were in short demand, the Trust did not advertise to replace staff leaving on maternity leave, hence "Health & Safety" we will have to close the MINOR INJURIES UNIT....AND THEY DID JUST THAT.

Please note: The shake-up of services has the support of emergency care czar Prof Sir George Alberti who visited the hospital twice and concluded no change was "untenable".

Question: How did czar Prof Sir George Alberti  get involved who asked him to come and review the Bridlington Hospitals CMU & Acute Services?  He has made 2 visits one in May 2007 and one in July 07 yet when the Trust were asked for a copy of the findings we were told there is NO report?

Please Note: The Save Bridlington Hospital Campaign Action Group's chairman Mick Pilling says the Trust do not like to be challenged but lets not forget who pays there wages, YES the public reflected in tax..........the NHS belongs to the people and the Trust are employed by the people so we say to the Trust listen to what the people of Bridlington & surrounding areas want.  LEAVE THE CARDIAC UNIT WHERE IT IS, GET THE MESSAGE!!!

The support the Campaign as gathered is overwhelming the whole town is taking part in the Petition, this includes MP's, 63 Councillors from Bridlington & Beverley Town Councils who have given the Scarborough NHS Trust a VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE, 5 Doctors surgeries in Bridlington involving 20+ Dr's, Shops, Stores, Businesses, Factories, Cafes, Hotels & Guesthouses.

Are the Scarborough NHS Trust telling me all these people and residents of Bridlington & surrounding areas with there beliefs are wrong and not to worry if you have a Heart Attack, please Scarborough NHS Trust Don't Play God.........