Lib Dem campaigners secure commitment to review parking charges at Broomfield Hospital

August 4, 2008 3:07 PM
Stephen Robinson, Norman Lamb, and Peter Wilcock discussing the PFI project outside Broomfield Hospital

Stephen Robinson, Peter Wilcock and Norman Lamb MP discussed NHS issues at Broomfield Hospital

Local Liberal Democrat campaigners have secured a commitment that the unfair parking charges at Broomfield hospital will be reviewed after Mid Essex Hospital Trust has paid off its outstanding debts in April 2009. This was one of the complaints raised most frequently by the 1,400 respondents to Stephen Robinson's recent inquiry into the state of the NHS in Chelmsford.

A large majority of respondents supported Lib Dem plans for health decisions to be taken locally - not all in Whitehall as happens currently. This would provide a more effective and accountable health service. Stephen Robinson is concerned that not enough is being done to publicise the Trust's bid for Foundation status and encourages the public to sign up as members of the Foundation to help improve the accountability of the organisation.

Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb MP, along with Stephen Robinson and Saffron Walden Parliamentary Candidate Peter Wilcock, met with the Chief Executive of the Trust recently to discuss the result of Stephen's enquiry and the progress being made on Foundation Trust status and the new PFI hospital. Said Stephen "We welcome the progress being made by MEHT on tackling hospital super-bugs, and on hitting the target for all patients being treated within 18 weeks of being referred by GPs. However, I hope Norman's experience of PFI projects in Norfolk leading to bed shortages are not repeated at the new hospital in Broomfield".

Peter Wilcock was concerned by the remaining high levels of "bed-blocking" caused by Essex County Council's social services failing to provide appropriate care for people ready to leave hospital. Liberal Democrats have consistently pushed for greater integration of health and social services to avoid these problems.