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Baroness Smith backs Echo blood campaign
1:00pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News
BARONESS Angela Smith is wholeheartedly supporting the Echo’s campaign to blood testing local.
The former Basildon MP says she can see no justification for moving the service from Southend and Basildon hospitals to Bedford Hospital.
Mrs Smith said: “I haven’t seen any justification other than one of cutting costs, but surely there will be increased costs and delays due to transporting – and what are the risks to patients in tests being delayed?
“How can they guarantee that tests are non-urgent. Obviously, there’s the routine ones, but surely in many cases they won’t know until they get the results how urgent they are.”
She also questioned the sense in transferring the service when Basildon and Southend already have the technology and equipment to run the service.
She added: “It’s a total red herring about delivering the results electronically – if they have the technology they can do that now, and I think they do anyway. Unison has to be right in that the savings will have to be in staff.”
Mrs Smith added her voice to the anger about a lack of consultation with patients and professionals calling it inadequate.
Her backing has been welcomed by residents who have been calling for their MPs to add their voice to the campaign and support them as voters.
John Gibson, chairman of the Asset Trust which provides and donates equipment to Southend Hospital, said: “This is good news, as the rest of the MPs have been completely silent. They appear to be keeping quiet to look after their own interests in their party rather than representing their constituents.”
Baroness Smith has tabled some questions to Parliament seeking answers to whether there will be any increase or reductions in costs and time from blood testing to receiving results, and what representations the Government and NHS MIdlands and East who proposed the change have received?
Answers should be received within ten working days.
Sign the Echo petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43260