To Trade Union branches, Community Organisations, Political Organisations, Campaign Groups

June 2016

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign is writing to you regarding our concerns about the future of the hospital. We are a group who have come together to protest against the threats of closure.

Our demands are:

  1. Full public funding, sufficient to allow LWH to thrive, for all our sisters, mothers, daughters and babies
  2. No privatisation or cuts
  3. No loss of beds
  4. Better funding for midwives
  5. Keep the focus on women and babies

The LWH is a much loved modern hospital on a good site paid by all our taxes. It must not become a private hospital.

The LWH board have agreed in favour of a move to the Royal Hospital site, the CCG are due to come up with its options.

Public support is huge. Over 37,000 people have signed our on line petition on 38 Degrees, and over 25,000 liked our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Save-Liverpool-Womens-Hospital-1425626211067359/timeline/)

We would like the opportunity to discuss the situation with your organisation.

Our campaign began in March after an Echo article 23/3/15 which stated that LWH was facing a deficit and the threat of closure. This article was followed by the Strategic Plan Summary 2014 p.8 stating (the) ‘Trust is no longer viable past 2015/16. The forecast negative cash flow 2016/17 of £11m presents the greatest concern.’ Despite tight financial controls by LWH the deficit of £7.3m has been carried over with the support of NHS Monitor, this situation will not be able to continue indefinitely.

The Echo 26/8/15 stated about the Healthy Liverpool consultation that

‘Dr Simon Bowers, deputy chairman of the CCG, previously admitted in an interview with BBC Panorama that Healthy Liverpool would lead to hospital closures in the city.

“The new model is funded by moving money around the system, so that inevitably means taking money out of hospitals to spend in the community.

“We will have less hospitals in Liverpool at the end of the Healthy Liverpool programme.”

CCG chairman Dr Nadim Fazlani previously said in an interview with the ECHO it was possible Liverpool Women’s Hospital could close and maternity services moved to another site as part of the overhaul.’

Additional factors to the privatisation and marketisation of the NHS make LWH vulnerable include: the £35m group action claim affects the balance sheet, the national Review of Maternity Services and the LWH Operational Plan talk of private maternity services, and a drive towards home births at a time of shortage of midwives. The national review talks of a personal maternity budget of £3,000, a minimal amount. The current NHS maternity tariff leaves LWH with £1m reduction in addition to the 4% NHS cuts due per year for the next 5 years.

The new Royal is not big enough to hold the Women’s as well and it would lose the focus on women and babies.

We attended all the LWH ‘Future Generations’ consultation events last summer. We have asked freedom of information requests from the hospital and from the Ambulance trust. We have attended the Healthy Liverpool road shows and CCG meetings on the matter. In addition the CCGs across Merseyside and Cheshire have to plan a cuts budget by the end of June 2016 under instructions from NHS England as part of cuts across England.

Nothing we have heard reassures us about the future of LWH.

We look forward to discussing with you how we can all help save LWH.

Yours in solidarity

Felicity Dowling

For:

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital

[email protected]

[email protected]

Donations welcome, payable c/o Keep Our NHS Public:

KONP Merseyside, Sort Code 08 60 01, Account Number 20174233