Cau­tion urged over city hospi­tals pro­pos­als

Leicester Mercury - - Mailbox -

THE prospect of some good news is al­ways wel­come but NOT when we have been there be­fore and the grand plan fell apart.

I was a clin­i­cal di­rec­tor at Leices­ter Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Trust for some of the years of the mas­sive re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of hos­pi­tal and ser­vices lead­ing up to a merger of LRI, LGH and Glen­field into the Univer­sity Hospi­tals of Leices­ter NHS Trust.

The hospi­tals agreed a “com­mon state­ment of agreed aims and val­ues” with the aim of be­com­ing the hos­pi­tal of choice for pa­tients and staff.

They had con­sid­ered mov­ing on to a 2+1 set-up of hospi­tals ad­mit­ting emer­gen­cies (one of which should be LRI) which led to protests that Glen­field might be a non-emer­gency hos­pi­tal. The pro­pos­als did not go away and led to the “Path­way Project” aimed at re­con­fig­ur­ing the hospi­tals and ser­vices from about 2000.

That would see re­build­ing on a grand scale with an ini­tial cap­i­tal cost of £760 mil­lion for the three sites and al­most to­tal de­mo­li­tion and new build­ing of the Gen­eral.

The com­bined costs rock­eted to a to­tal of £2.8 bil­lion for a 30-year project and the plans were can­celled (or at least put on ice) un­til the next great plan.

I find it hard to imag­ine the lat­est pro­pos­als will not suf­fer the same cost pres­sures and Le­ices­ter­shire would lose a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of beds and fa­cil­i­ties dur­ing the process. I would urge great cau­tion be­fore go­ing down this route.

Dr E H Mackay, Re­tired Con­sul­tant

Pathol­o­gist, LGH 1978-2003

DEREK GOOD­WIN

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