The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point, and I will be touching on that a little later on in my comments.
As a bigger hospital in one of the UK’s biggest cities, UHB had a great deal of influence over these discussions. It soon became apparent to the UHCW team that the sacrifices would be one-sided. UHCW felt that it must pull out of the talks, as it was clear that its services would be downgraded and its specialised work would be removed completely—services that it had worked hard to develop. That would be detrimental to the people of Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond.
In November 2018, NHS England served a formal notice on UHCW to transfer specialised liver and pancreas services to UHB in Birmingham or risk decommissioning. UHCW was denied the opportunity to establish the population base required to be an independent centre. There is now a concerted effort from UHB trust management and NHS England to enforce the takeover of the HPB centre at Coventry.
The simple and accepted solution, which is in line with the professional recommendations, is to implement the agreement between UHCW, Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Wye Valley NHS Trust to provide the liver and pancreas specialised service at UHCW NHS Trust. It is important to highlight the ongoing capacity constraints at UHB. The realignment from Worcester and Hereford to UHCW would effectively fulfil the required population base to be an independent centre—as per Department of Health and Social Care guidelines—and also reduce the very long waiting times for cancer operations and improve access.
The proposals demonstrate more short-sighted, efficiency-obsessed thinking from NHS England based on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. The findings of the 2015 review, which stated that UHCW’s HBP unit does not serve enough people, totally ignored the good standard of pancreatic care at UHCW. It is of the highest quality and helps to provide patients with the best possible outcomes. NHS England’s proposals threaten the standard of care, which I will raise shortly. The proposals will have a detrimental impact on those in need of this care in Coventry and elsewhere in Warwickshire. Although the 2015 review stated that the HPB unit—
Motion lapsed (
Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Jeremy Quin.)