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Plan to move hospital services is flawed, says report.

A damning new report urges a complete rethink of Professor Ara Darzi's plans for the future of Teesside's hospital provision.

Prof Darzi's Acute Services Review was "fundamentally flawed" from the start, claims the study by Stockton Council's health and social care select committee.

The report goes before a special meeting of Stockton Council tomorrow night, where it is recommended to be approved and submitted to the Joint Scrutiny Committee, which will be looking closely at Prof Darzi's review.

The health and social care select committee believes it has compiled enough evidence to provide a "compelling argument to reassess the limited proposals put forward".

Consultant-led maternity and paediatric services, along with breast cancer surgery, will be moved from North Tees to Hartlepool under Darzi's proposals.

The new report raises concerns over whether the consultation process will reflect the objections to the Darzi report. Its also says:

* The acute services review was fundamentally flawed as the emphasis was for retaining services at Hartlepool, not providing the best services across Teesside.

* Population profiles show more need for full women and child health provision in Stockton Borough.

* It is "unacceptable" that poorer women in Stockton Borough will not be given the full range of choice for maternity provision available to other women.

* No transport solution has been provided for hospitals further away.

* The recommendations fail to adequately deal with staffing issues.

* The impact proposals will have on Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital have not been given "sufficient importance".

* A Centre of Excellence already exists at North Tees, and providing the same at Hartlepool "will not guarantee its success".

Stockton Council leader Bob Gibson told the Gazette: "I hope they listen, and also to the clinicians and experts and the public who are making these same points."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 19, 2005
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