For many years I have been a supporter of the Wolverhampton Rheumatology Support Group, of which I am a member.
At our AGM on 15 September 2014, we passed a resolution expressing some concerns about the proposed shift of some services from New Cross to Cannock. We asked our Executive members to send a delegation to meet the Chief Executive of New Cross, Mr David Loughton.
Below is our Secretary’s report of that meeting with the Chief Executive.
I am pleased that Mr Loughton was constructive and provided some reassurances. I pay tribute to Mr Loughton for his flexibility and his generosity, and I congratulate the WRSG representatives for their positive and productive discussion with him.
Rob Marris, Labour Candidate for Wolverhampton South West
Secretary’s report on meeting with Mr Loughton 25 November 2014
I am pleased to say that the meeting went exceptionally well. Mr Loughton took time to explain to us that, because parts of Stafford Hospital are being closed, New Cross needs to move 100 beds out of Wolverhampton to Cannock Hospital to make room for some of Stafford’s the Accidents & Emergencies to come to New Cross.
Rheumatology Day Care and out patients will still be seen at New Cross.
Rheumatology staff – except Day Care & Out Patients – will transfer to Cannock.
Complex cases and major operations will be done at New Cross. Each patient will have a personal risk assessment on their health in general and their care needs following surgery, to determine where they will have the surgery.
We were told that there are more than enough bed spaces at Cannock for Rheumatology Patients. There is also a new Rheumatology Unit going to be built. This is expected to be completed around the middle of 2015.
Transport: Arriva will be putting on a bus service every hour on the half hour: starting in Wolverhampton bus station at 06.30; picking up at New Cross A&E, Heart and Lung Centre; then directly to Cannock hospital. The last bus will leave Cannock hospital at 21.30.
If a patient has an appointment letter, there will be NO charge. Otherwise, normal fees/bus passes will be enforced. The bus will be a single decker bus with a tail lift / ramp for wheelchair access.
Patients, carers/patients’ visitors and hospital staff will be using this service.
Car Parking at Cannock Hospital
Disability parking is next to the hospital.
The council’s staff car park – just across the road – has been handed over to the hospital, providing a further 200 spaces. There will be a zebra crossing leading from the car park to the hospital. Mr Loughton advised that there is a grassed area in front of the hospital which, if necessary, will be made into a car parking area.
Also at the meeting, we were discussing how WRSG fund a Managing Arthritis course for members, at a cost of £3,000. David Loughton very kindly agreed to fund a course once a year, and is making arrangements for annual funding to our group.
Some changes have already been put in place. However things do sound better than when we were updated at our AGM.
An update will be printed in the next newsletters to all members.
Jan Simpson, WRSG Secretary