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