MP questions whether axed Burntwood health centre was a viable plan

Questions have been raised about whether a proposed new health centre in Burntwood was ever going to be viable.

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant made the comments after the NHS confirmed it would not be funding the new development at Burntwood Leisure Centre.

It was the final nail in the coffin of the project which had been hit by delays, and was described as a “terrible blow” by Burntwood councillor Sue Woodward.

Now the area’s MP Michael Fabricant has questioned whether the scheme was viable in the first place.

“I share Burntwood’s disappointment that NHS England has decided not to fund the new health centre,” he said.

“However, its construction was always conditional on local GPs wanting to move into it which would require a contribution from their own development budgets and a substantial influx of patients to make the health centre viable.

“With most local GPs withdrawing from the scheme, for quite legitimate reasons, it jeopardised the project from thereon.

“Without a sufficiently large pool of patients, the Health Centre was never going to be viable.

“So we need to move on with alternative plans.

“I have called for an urgent meeting with health ministers and have asked for a detailed written explanation as to why the Health Centre proposal was rejected.

“I then hope that armed with that knowledge, we can move forward with an alternative and more viable configuration which will meet the needs of patients in Burntwood and its local doctors in the years to come.”

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman

But Cllr Steve Norman, the leader of the Labour opposition group on Lichfield District Council, said Mr Fabricant had failed to fight for the needs of the town.

“In 2009, after a public consultation exercise Burntwood and Hammerwich residents were promised two Health Centres,” he said. “The biggest one being a state-of-the-art building at the leeisure 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.”

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16 Comments

  1. steven Norman

    5th June, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Action AFTER the closure. Why do we pay him all that money to close the stable door?

  2. johnthemon

    5th June, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Because he wouldn’t do it for nothing, and closing a stable door needs a little forethought and understanding, don’t think it comes easy for Mr Fabricant it doesn’t.

  3. Rob

    5th June, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Labour grumbling about spending!
    There’s a novelty.

  4. FiveSpiresLive

    7th June, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    The people of Burntwood deserve some impartial facts and figures. If your MP is correct that the proposed scheme was not viable then this should have been apparent to any competent local representatives long ago and rigorously addressed at that time. Years have been squandered …

  5. Sue Woodward

    7th June, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I think the MP is confusing the possible new GP premises at Greenwood House and the development on the Leisure Centre site of a brand new primary care centre. Hardly surprising as he takes so little interest in Burntwood matters.

    The primary care centre development was all ready to go but, for whatever reason (and I aim to try to find out), didn’t get the final Board sign off before Primary Care Trusts were taken out of existence by the £1.5 billion Government reorganisation of the NHS – enough to have built plenty of much-needed health facilities.

    Why wasn’t he jumping up and down at that point?

  6. Rob

    8th June, 2014 at 10:04 am

    There’s a nearly new hospital in Lichfield about three miles away. You could walk it in half an hour, and the walk would do a lot of people some good.

  7. Asellus aquaticus

    11th June, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Seriously Rob?
    If you live in Chase Terrace it’s around six miles to Samuel Johnson in Lichfield.
    So for an elderly person who perhaps walks around 2 miles an hour, that’s a three hour walk there and a three hour walk back.

    Yeah, that’ll do them some good.

  8. Some Bloke

    14th June, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I think if someone could walk from the top end of Chase Terrance to Lichfield in half an hour, they wouldn’t be needing a doctor, they’d be needing to try out for the Royal Marines! :)

  9. Rob

    14th June, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    What’s with this Chase Terrace stuff?

    The article’s about Burntwood. I live in Burntwood and have walked to Lichfield train station on numerous occasions. Perhaps five or ten more minutes to the hospital from there, no big deal.

  10. Scissor sister

    14th June, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Bloody hell, is Rob really Zola Budd?

  11. Asellus aquaticus

    14th June, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Rob – Burntwood Health and Wellbeing Centre to Samuel Johnson Hospital. 5.9 miles according to Google Maps. Good luck with doing that in half an hour when your varicose veins are causing you agony.

  12. Rob

    15th June, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t know where the new health centre was/is going to be.
    I live near Greenwood House and it’s a pleasant walk into Lichfield from there, unless you’re a lardtub I suppose.
    Maybe those residing in the top end (wherever that is) of Chase Terrace would find it easier to go the hospital in Cannock.
    That wouldn’t take much more than 30 minutes either.

  13. FiveSpiresLive

    15th June, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    LDC Scrutiny Committee discussed this last week. What was the outcome, other than another petition?

  14. Asellus aquaticus

    15th June, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    That’s fine Rob. Unless you’re ill. *facepalm*

  15. FiveSpiresLive

    17th June, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Hello? …