Monday, 11 January 2010

Nikki anger at A&E downgrade

People in north Warwickshire are being forced to travel further for life saving treatment as Rugby’s St Cross Hospital’s A&E department has been downgrade to little more than a ‘bandage station’, UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire has warned. The life saving unit is being wind down to the status of a walk-in minor injuries unit as people with life threatening conditions and injuries are being sent directly to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, a journey that adds miles to the dash for life.Ms Sinclaire said recent changes at St Cross have left the unit as an A&E only in name, despite assurances from health chiefs that emergency services would remain at the Stoney Stanton site.“Back in 2006 a review of acute service in Warwickshire promised that local 24 hour A&E units would remain but a quick look at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS trust website describes treatment available at St Cross now as ‘Cuts and grazes, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, bites and stings, strains and sprains, minor head injuries, and minor eye or ear problems'.

“Most shockingly parents are warned that if their child is seriously ill then they should be taken to Walsgrave Hospital directly.”She added; “This move leaves St Cross’s as little more than a bandage station while critical cases are either transferred or transported directly to Coventry with the added wait for life saving treatment.”The MEP, who has special responsibility for Warwickshire, said the move was even more deplorable as residents in the affected area had been kept in the dark about the changes, while local councillors had been briefed in full.“In 2007 Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem councillors on Rugby Borough Council had it spelt out to them that emergencies cases, such as heart attack, acute stroke, acutely sick children and major trauma would no longer be treated at St Cross but choose to do nothing about it.

“I became an MEP to confront the bureaucracy, lack of accountability and democracy at the heart of the European Union but it seems that these very same traits are evident in how the NHS in Warwickshire is being run.“I will now demand to know how this situation came about.”