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MP Bill Esterson writes to the Health Secretary about plans to shut A&E at Southport and Formby

Formby MP, Bill Esterson has written to the Health Secretary about government plans to shut A&E at Southport and Formby Hospital.

The plans were highlighted in national media reports and are part of the so-called “Sustainability and Transformation” Plan (STP) for Cheshire and Merseyside. Government plans for Southport and Formby would see cuts in the hours or outright closure of A&E, which would mean patients having to travel to Preston, Aintree or Liverpool in an emergency.

Formby’s Labour MP, Bill Esterson said, “Plans to shut A&E at Southport would have a drastic impact on people in Formby, Hightown and Ince Blundell. It would affect some people in Crosby as well. The government plan is supposed to be about sustainability. But it doesn’t sound very sustainable or sustaining for people living in Formby, Hightown or Ince Blundell, who will face a much longer journey to A&E in an emergency.

"I have only the highest praise for staff at Southport and Formby Hospital for the care I received when I was admitted through A&E a few years ago and I want all my constituents to continue to receive the high levels of care that I received. So the idea of cuts in the hours or outright closure are of great concern to everyone living nearby.

"When the then Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition government made changes to the NHS with the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, it was clear that pressure would grow for closures including of A&E. So, sadly it is no surprise that this is being considered. My Labour colleagues on Sefton Council voted against the plans for closure and rejected the STP. Now we must fight hard stop the government from going ahead with these cuts to A&E.

"That’s why I have written to Conservative Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, asking him to confirm what his plans are for Southport A&E. It cannot be right to close such a vital A&E as it will add significantly to the journey times and the risks for people in Formby, Hightown and Ince Blundell as well as in Southport and in South Ribble as well. A further consequence of the closure of A&E would be to undermine the effectiveness of the hospital and I have therefore asked Mr Hunt to confirm whether his long term intention is to close the hospital or not.”

Bill Esterson MP’s letter to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is attached and he is pictured with Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southport, Liz Savage and Labour candidate for South Ribble, Veronica Bennett. Residents in Formby, Southport and parts of South

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