Steve Brine held his second ASKtheNHS public meeting at the United Church in Jewry Street on Saturday 20th September.The focus of this meeting was specifically on the future of local obstetric and maternity care, which could be set for changes if a new acute care hospital is built for the Hampshire Health Foundation Trust; the Foundation Trust covering Winchester, Basingstoke and Andover.
Answering questions from local people were RHCH Chief Executive Mary Edwards, consultant paediatrician Simon Struthers, Head of obstetrics at HHFT Michael Heard and Caroline Brunt, Head of Midwifery at the Trust.
Steve said: "The first meeting in March was good but quite general in looking at the global picture and the reason for a reconfiguration of services. This meeting brought together a different group of people and there were a range of excellent questions from the floor allowing us to really hone in on the maternity service.
"It was good to get the facts, as opposed to some of the ill-informed scare stories we've heard in recent weeks, about existing and planned level of consultant cover at Winchester Hospital. We also covered blue light emergencies and the fact that Winchester's A&E will very much remain the first port of call for walk-in presentations. It was a great opportunity to really put local health chiefs on the spot and I know they valued the session as part of their ongoing engagement ahead of a formal consultation expected later this year.
"The feedback I received after the meeting has been fairly positive and I hope those who could make it found it a useful opportunity. I am extremely grateful for the panel giving up their time to speak directly to my constituents in this way."As the local MP, I remain of the view that it is my responsibility to see the Trust plans get the fullest hearing and as I have said, I am determined we will do that with a sensible, evidence-based, approach. As a young parent of two myself, both actually born at the RHCH in recent years, I am clear our NHS deserves nothing less."
Pictured; Steve opening the meeting (top) and with the panel, from left to right, Dr Simon Struthers, SB, Caroline Brunt, Dr Michael Heard and Mary Edwards.
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