MP Nick Boles fears for future of Stamford Hospital

MP Nick Boles outside Stamford Hopsital
MP Nick Boles outside Stamford Hopsital
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Stamford MP Nick Boles fears Stamford Hospital could close under its current leadership and has called for someone else to take it on.

Mr Boles fears the cash crisis faced by Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust means plans to revamp Stamford Hospital to create a health campus could be shelved.

In March, health watchdog Monitor started a review into the trust, which is facing a £54m deficit after taking out a private finance initiative to build the new Peterborough City Hospital. The results of the review are expected to be released on Friday.

But ahead of those results, Mr Boles has today (Wednesday) written to chief executive of the NHS Sir David Nicholson and Monitor, issuing an ultimatum: If the current hospital trust cannot carry out its plans, then another health trust should take on Stamford Hospital.

He said: “The fear I have is that although the interim management have the best of intentions for Stamford, they are not going to be in the driving seat because the financial crisis is so great. These decisions are being taken in London by the head of the NHS and others and it would be very easy for the whole future of Stamford Hospital to get lost in these big, difficult but necessary decisions.

“That is why I have written to David Nicholson and Monitor asking them to confirm the strategy that’s been worked on is going to be implemented under any plan for Peterborough Trust and if not, to transfer the hospital out of the trust to one of the Lincolnshire trusts.”

The Conservative MP said by writing the letter he was being “proactive” in trying to guarantee the future of Stamford Hospital and hoped people living in the town would recognise that.

Plans to turn Stamford Hospital into a health campus with a variety of services provided by the NHS and a not-for-profit organisation were outlined in June last year. Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust said this was its preferred option from three, which also included doing the minimum required to keep the hospital open or closing it completely.

The redevelopment plans were put on hold while the review by Monitor was carried out but the trust has insisted that its plans for Stamford Hospital are still on the table.

Interim chief executive of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals trust Dr Peter Reading said the trust’s position on the redevelopment had not changed. He said it would consider its business case, which outlines the redevelopment, once the review is complete and the recommendations for the trust had been made public.

He added: “The trust’s board of directors considers the hospital to be key to ensuring we continue to deliver a range of quality services to patients in Lincolnshire. We are proud of our staff and the way in which both they and the hospital are held in high regard by the people of Stamford and the surrounding area.”

A Monitor spokesman said the contingency planning team it appointed would shortly be publishing its analysis into the “sustainability” of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust and that following this, it would make recommendations to ensure services were delivered on a “sustainable basis for the benefit of the local population”.