Metcalfe slams Le-Surf over Basildon Hospital debt claims

STEPHEN Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has come out in support of Basildon Hospital in light of comments made by the local Labour candidate which suggested that patient care is going backwards.

The candidate’s comments were made in reference to recent figures which show that Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust has a deficit of £4.66m. The local MP has hit back at the remarks, highlighting the drastic improvements made at the Hospital in recent months.

Mr Metcalfe said: “In the last couple of weeks we learned that Basildon Hospital has been brought out of special measures, that it was rated ‘Good’ at its latest inspection, that there are more hospital beds, patient care is improving, more nurses are on the wards, and death rates are down.”

“I appreciate that £4.66m is a substantial sum but this must be understood within the context of the improving standards and planned investments designed to ensure patients are receiving the best possible treatment. I have no doubt that the Hospital are committed to managing their finances responsibly and it is a shame that Labour have resorted to scaremongering rather than constructively engaging with the issues to ensure that standards continue to improve.”

A spokesperson from the Hospital said: “The trust is committed to providing excellent patient care that is also value for money. In 2013/4 the trust board agreed a planned year end deficit to make significant investments in quality, including opening additional beds and employing more clinical staff, which improves care and reduces our reliance on agency staff.”

“Continuing work to improve care while ensuring the trust doesn’t spend more than it earns is our main priority. As part of this aim the trust has launched a new cost improvement programme to deliver major savings. Monitor, the foundation trust regulator, has been fully updated on our financial plans for 2014/5.”

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