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MPs "concerned" about blood testing services, but won't join Echo campaign
10:42am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Echo News
CONCERNED south Essex MPs have expressed their fears about blood testing services being moved to Bedford to those who will have the final say on the controversial proposals.
But Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron and south Basildon and east Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe are yet to give their support to the Echo’s campaign to save the service from being moved 90 miles away.
They recently met with Andrew Pike, chief executive of NHS North and South Essex PCT clusters and members of the clinical commissioning groups which are soon to take over from the PCTs to discuss the proposals, which if they get the go ahead, would see Bedford Hospital carry out blood tests in future. They also met with GPs and pathology experts to hear their views on the plans, which are opposed by GPs, hospitals and patients.
At the moment, the service is provided by hospital staff in Basildon and Southend.
The Consolidated Pathology Services (CPS) consortium won the bid to carry out pathology services for south Essex.
Mr Baron and Mr Metcalfe are now waiting for a response to a letter sent to the group urging it to consider clinician’s concerns before it makes a final decision.
Mr Baron said: “It was a very amiable meeting where we all exchanged views. Both Steve and I do have concerns which we have now raised with the CPS.
“A final decision has not been made regarding a number of issues, but we want them to focus on this part of the world.”
Mr Metcalfe added: “It was a very proactive meeting that enabled me to get a better understanding of the clinician’s concerns, which also need to be addressed before a final decision is made.
“They are the best placed people to understand how the changes will potentially effect people.
“If they are addressed I don’t know what the outcome will be, we’re waiting for a response to a letter which highlights their concerns.”
The Echo launched a campaign at the end of last year in a bid to keep our blood testing services local that has gathered pace ever since - more than 10,000 signatures have now been added to our petition.
However, Mr Baron and Mr Metcalfe are yet to come out and give it their backing and approval.
Mr Baron added: “Any expression of democratic view is good, but I’m not going to join the campaign. I’m taking my own line on this with Steve and we’re making our own inquiries.
“We will pursue this matter on behalf of our constituents because we do have concerns.”