THE LEADER of a campaign to stop complex vascular operations being moved out of Arrowe Park Hospital today said he was confident they would win the battle.
Secretary of Wirral TUC Alec McFadden said the fight against NHS plans to transfer the service to the Countess of Chester was gathering pace.
Mr McFadden, referring to the battle to save Wirral Libraries fought three-and-half-years ago, said: “I’m as confident of winning this as when we stopped the libraries from closing. It’s not going to happen.”
He branded the plans to establish the Countess as a “centre of excellence” as disgrace and accused bosses of gambling with people’s lives .
He said he did not object to NHS moves to create a centre of excellence which basically concentrates specialist expertise, equipment and resources.
But he said Arrowe Park was the right place for the centre because it had the most people in need of the service.
Mr McFadden was speaking out as campaigners stepped up their campaign. The TUC has organised leaflet drops to rally the public’s support and they are holding a demonstration at the end of this month.
Despite the chief executive of Arrowe Park, David Allison, being in support of the plans which will see routine vascular surgery and vascular doctors remain on site, Wirral Council is currently appealing to the secretary of state for health to overturn the move.
If this appeal fails, campaigners will seek out a judicial review. It is understood that a judicial review can only be sought if all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.
An NHS spokesman for NHS Merseyside and NHS Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral said the move to Chester was being made to provide better results to patients, adding: “Only the most complex procedures are being transferred to the arterial centre in Chester, following the best practice advice from the UK Vascular Society, which will ensure that outcomes for those patients will improve.
“The decisions taken on vascular services are in the best interests of patients across Cheshire and Merseyside.”
The demonstration takes place on Saturday, September 29, at 11am, gathering at the Cherry Tree pub entrance of Arrowe Park opposite Landican Cemetery.