Plans for new Burntwood health centre axed after funding is pulled

Plans for a new health centre in Burntwood have been dropped after the NHS confirmed the project would not be funded.

The Burntwood Leisure Centre site had been earmarked after the closure of St Matthews and Hamerwich hospitals.

But delays have dogged the project and the NHS has now confirmed to Lichfield District Council that it cannot afford to fund any primary care developments that were not signed off before April 2012.

Councillor Mike Wilcox

Councillor Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, says the local authority will now seek an urgent meeting over the future of healthcare provision in the town.

“Whilst we of course understand the budgetary pressures faced by the NHS, this is incredibly disappointing news for the residents of Burntwood,” he said.

“Along with local ward councillors and the Burntwood Town Council, we have been campaigning for a new health centre on the leisure centre site for many years, and welcomed the creation of the temporary health and wellbeing centre that currently supports over 3,000 residents.

“As a matter of urgency we will be working with the NHS to determine the plans for the temporary centre, as well as how other improvements can be made to NHS services provided in the town, despite the plans for the new centre not progressing.”

The temporary Burntwood Health and Wellbeing Centre

The temporary Burntwood Health and Wellbeing Centre

Meanwhile, Burntwood Labour councillor Sue Woodward described the news as a “terrible blow” for local people.

“I’m stunned at the news,” she said. “The local area does not have adequate health care facilities and the plans for a new facility on the leisure centre site would have provided exactly what the town needs.

“Since the closure of the local hospitals, we’ve had repeated assurances from the NHS that they will provide new facilities to compensate for their loss. To be told now, and at this late stage, that they cannot fund this vital development that has been in the pipeline for many years, is devastating and is a direct consequence of last year’s NHS reorganisation, the scale of which was unexpected and contrary to government pledges to support front-line services.

“I am committed to working alongside partners to campaign to ensure adequate health care is provided in Burntwood, and to determine what will happen to the current temporary centre.”

Any future changes to the NHS budget situation would not mean the scheme could be kickstarted either. In an email from NHS England, Lichfield District Council was told that the project would go into “relative prioritisation exercise” along with the many schemes that have also lost out on funding.

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1 Comment

  1. steven Norman

    4th June, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    In 2009, after a public consultation exercise Burntwood and Hammerwich residents were promised two Health Centres. The biggest one being a state-of-the-art building at the Leisure Centre site and another smaller one on the Greenwood House site which is still empty after more than six years. In 2014 what does Burntwood get with the Conservative’s top down health “reforms” – nothing!
    And what does Burntwood and Hammerwich, with a population of 30,000, get from their MP? No lobbying of ministers or Health Executives or questions tabled in the House but instead embarrassing antics, crude Twitter comments and a fancy dress parade. All this for just £65,738.00 in salary and £110,378.22 in expenses in 2012/13.
    I, of course, did not vote for him but spare a thought for those Conservative members in Burntwood and Hammerwich who helped to get him re-elected and now have to explain the lack of support their MP has given to residents who are not affected directly by HS2 – his only interest it seems – but pay his salary and expenses.