Full steam ahead for Hinchingbrooke

THE rescue plan for Hinchingbrooke Hospital cleared its final hurdle last week, and managers can now implement a two-year programme of change to bring it into financial surplus. Although agreed in June by Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, which will effe

THE rescue plan for Hinchingbrooke Hospital cleared its final hurdle last week, and managers can now implement a two-year programme of change to bring it into financial surplus.

Although agreed in June by Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, which will effectively be paying for it, the plan needed the approval of a special scrutiny committee of councillors and others from Cambridgeshire and neighbouring counties.

On Wednesday, that body - the Hinchingbrooke Hospital Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - accepted the plan and decided not to refer it to the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, which could have delayed implementation for months. Members had some outstanding concerns, but still backed the PCT's plans.

Chief Executive Chris Banks said afterwards: "I am delighted that the committee has concluded that it is content to endorse the recommendations agreed by the PCT's board.

"I now look forward to continued joint working with the hospital and local GPs to implement these recommendations. The PCT remains confident that these actions will secure ongoing access to local health services for the residents of Huntingdonshire"

His colleague Janice Steed, the trust's director of strategic development and commissioning, added: "The media played a vital role in the consultation process, ensuring wide-spread publicity on the proposals being developed and how local people could engage in the consultation.

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"I would like to thank them for their support, particularly The Hunts Post as one of the main written media for Huntingdonshire residents, for consistently providing comprehensive information before and during the consultation.

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