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Is blood change a done deal?
9:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
AN OFFICIAL letter regarding the controversial changes to pathology services seems to suggest the decision is already made.
The Department of Health replied to a letter by Audrey Curtis, from Rochford, who complained about the proposals to move blood and other specimen analysis to a consortium of hospitals based around Bedford Hospital - 90 miles away.
The Echo is campaigning for the service to stay in south Essex and has been backed resoundingly by more than 120 Southend Hospital consultants, 90 GPs and more than 10,000 of you our readers who have signed our petition.
Mrs Curtis wrote to criticise the plans.
Jennifer Quinn from the Dept of Health’s ministerial correspondence and public enquiries office wrote: “All decisions on how reconfiguration will be implemented are made by the NHS locally.
”However these changes are vital to the NHS
“The current pathology arrangements are unsustainable and in view of the robust evidence available commissioners will be seeking high quality services that represent best value for money.”
Mrs Curtis said: “As you can see they have made up their minds. We the public have no say. Privatising everything as far as I’m concerned costs the public more not less. The changes will also put people out of work.”
Unions have already said it is certain to effect jobs as less routine screening work is done locally at Southend and Basildon hospitals. GPs have raised their concerns that the change is ‘a done deal’ which is difficult to influence.
Dr Brian Balmer, chief executive of South Essex Local Medical Committee and a GP near Chelmsford, said: “This has been forced from above all the way along. It is centrally driven with a couple of people pushing it who genuinely think it will save money but the majority of people doubt they (Bedford) can provide the same service for less. We don’t doubt the consortium’s best intentions but its just the distances involved.”