Sunday, September 09, 2007

John Baron MP on St. Andrews Health Centre in Billericay

Our local MP has taken up the very serious issue of the threat to the St Andrews Health Centre in Billericay. This is what he has written to the Chief Executive of Basildon Hospital:

31st August 2007 Ref: JB/TD

Dear Alan ,

St Andrews Centre, Billericay

I am writing to express my concerns and those of local residents about the current review that is being undertaken regarding the future of St Andrews Centre, Billericay.

Whilst accepting that you are obliged by Monitor to ensure that your assets are being properly utilised, you need to be fully aware of the extent to which St Andrews is relied upon by the local community, and the extent to which we will resist any downgrading or closure of services. I have sent a 1,000 signature petition and 78 letters of support to SW Essex PCT to illustrate the strength of feeling on this issue – and my thanks go to Cllr Terence Gandy for helping to collate all these. I will be sending the PCT a further tranche of petitions once they have been collected. I have directed these petitions to the PCT as I fear that any possibility of closure could be driven by cost considerations.

We are determined to fight to keep St Andrews open and fully operational, and would therefore appreciate your written confirmation that this will be the case. You should be aware that, if this confirmation cannot be given now, I will be inviting the PCT to a meeting with local residents to which you will also be invited.

On a related issue, I have also made the PCT aware that I find it somewhat unfortunate that relevant stakeholders were not consulted about this issue – for one thing, it cannot be good for staff morale to first hear about this in the newspapers.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely,

John Baron MP

cc: Cllr Terence Gandy

Mr Alan Whittle
Chief Executive
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Essex SS16 5NL
Terence Gandy is a Councillor on Billericay Town Council and he deserves congratulations along with John for gripping this issue. The Trust is on notice on this one. Billericay as a community will fight for our local health facilities.

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