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Our MP, Jonathan Djanogly, writes about Hinchingbrooke Hospital, the risk of a merger with Peterborough and asks people to sign his petition:

Protecting our hospital

Earlier this year Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust announced a collaborative working agreement between the two Trusts.

As a result, the Trusts stated that they are reviewing:

• what savings could be jointly achieved by working more collaboratively;

• how they could collaborate clinically to develop a clinical strategy;

• potential organisational form.

It is my understanding that Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough hospitals, sometime before the New Year, signed a secret memorandum of understanding relating to this announcement. This agenda has been very much pushed by Peterborough over recent months and supported by the regional health body (Monitor). Whilst I welcome and would expect sensible collaboration I have grave concerns that in this situation a review of ‘potential organisation form’ seems to be weasel words for a takeover of Hinchingbrooke Hospital by Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

As regards the clinical review, local concerns are that Peterborough would move services from Hinchingbrooke. This could lead to sustainability issues for Hinchingbrooke. My understanding is that this process could include A&E, obstetrics and maternity. 

From a Huntingdonshire perspective, the potential loss of services would be clearly unacceptable. It seems to me that the proposals could lead to significant reorganisational costs, disturbance to hospital processes and demoralisation of staff. 

Also of concern is that the NHS acquisition rules seem not to provide for a need for consultation on a takeover, which will clearly not be acceptable to Huntingdonshire residents.

Finally, very much at the forefront for Huntingdonshire is the huge upset that these proposals have caused to local patients and residents who highly value our local hospital, its services and staff.

Whilst investigating joint working between the hospitals seems entirely sensible I intend to continue to lead a strong campaign against a merger or acquisition of our hospital by Peterborough. Local residents can support my campaign in the first instance by signing the petition at:

www.jonathandjanogly.com/hospital_petition

I have already written to Monitor to request further details of the secret memorandum and to the Secretary of State to make our local concerns known at the highest level.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Djanogly MP

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