February 16, 2007 11:09 AM
Tom Brake MP (right) and Paul Burstow MP Show Their Support for St Helier in Westminster

The future of the Accident and Emergency Unit at St Helier Hospital Hangs in the Balance

Commenting on the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust's recent cost-cutting exercise which has seen every third light bulb in communal areas removed to save money, local MP for Carshalton & Wallington, Tom Brake said:

"This crazy move would be funny were it not so serious.

"It requires a very special brand of incompetence for ministers to nearly treble funding in the health service and still leave hospitals short.

"If our hospitals are scrimping money on light bulbs, how can they afford the latest drugs and high quality patient care?

"Patients will be left scratching their heads in the dark about this bonkers idea."

In recent months, the Trust has introduced other cost-cutting measures such as plans to cut staff and shut beds, withdrawing water coolers, requiring staff to empty their own bins and stopping hot meals for patients at lunch-time.

Tom Brake will be meeting staff at the beginning of March to hear first-hand the impact the Trust's recovery plan is having on patients and staff.

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