Residents warned money is not available to replace Burntwood’s temporary Health and Wellbeing Centre

People in Burntwood have been warned that the funding is not available for a long term replacement for the town’s health and wellbeing centre.

The temporary Health and Wellbeing Centre in Burntwood

The temporary Health and Wellbeing Centre in Burntwood

A short-term extension was granted for the current temporary building on land at Burntwood Leisure Centre, after the NHS withdrew funding for a new building.

It had been hoped a permanent solution would be found to replace services lost following the closures of St Matthew’s and Hammerwich hospitals.

Alan White

Cllr Alan White

But Cllr Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for health, warned that the chances of that happening were slim.

“The deficit across Staffordshire is gigantic and there is not enough money coming in to meet the needs across the whole county,” he said.

“I don’t dispute the need for a new health centre, but the money is not there.

“I am regularly having conversations with NHS England about Burntwood and have reminded them about their obligations to the people of the town.”

Cllr White, who also sits on Lichfield District Council, made his comments at a meeting of the local authority last week.

The news means that the conversion of Greenwood House is likely to be Burntwood’s best hope of new healthcare provision.

But Labour’s Cllr Eric Drinkwater warned this would be not solve the problem facing people living in the town.

Cllr Eric Drinkwater

Cllr Eric Drinkwater

“For many, many years we have been promised a new health centre,” he said.

“Greenwood House would b nothing more than an upgraded GP facility and not one of the new health centres we were promised when the decision was made to close St Matthew’s and Hammerwich Hospital.

“An upgrade goes nowhere close to addressing the healthcare needs of the 30,000 people of Burntwood.”

His Labour colleage, Cllr Di Evans also warned that Greenwood House would not provide what locals needed.

She said: “It is just a replacement for the surgeries on Hudson Drive which are not big enough.

“Ideally, we should have had a firm commitment for the current site at Burntwood Leisure Centre.”

But Cllr White said Greenwood House would be more than just a replacement.

“I’m determined that it will be fit for purpose,” he said. “It will not just be an upgrade on what the town already has.”

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2 Comments

  1. Steven Norman

    29th February, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    And what does the town’s Member of Parliament have to say about this betrayal by the Government? Nothing of course.

  2. B Giles

    1st March, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Conservatives washing their hands of Burntwood. Once a Tory, always a Tory.