In his most recent letter which was published in the Daily Echo on 19 December Mr Jeff Williams suggests that there is a reduction in funding for the NHS in Dorset to the tune of £147m.
This could not be further from the truth as the £147m to which he refers is in fact an additional national investment that has been allocated to Dorset.
The funding was announced in July 2017 as part of a national investment, with Dorset being allocated the largest share of a total £325 million.
This funding will be used to develop the major planned hospital in Poole and the major emergency hospital in Bournemouth, including new facilities for a maternity unit, children’s services, theatres, a larger A&E and new wards.
Mr Williams is a regular correspondent on the subject of the changes and we have in the past responded to him, inviting him to meet with us to discuss his concerns in person. To date we have not been approached for a meeting.
We would also like to address other inaccuracies that are circulating in relation to travel times.
Following the dismissal of the judicial review against the CCG by the High Court there has been an ongoing focus on travel times to what will be the major emergency hospital in Bournemouth.
Campaigners have focussed on a number of cases referenced in a report published in 2017 by South Western Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), suggesting that increased travel time would have a negative impact on a number of patients.
Earlier in the month we published a review into these same cases which showed that increased travel times would not have changed the outcomes for the patients.
The review was carried out by a panel consisting of some of Dorset’s most senior doctors and paramedics and for anyone to dismiss these views really does disregard the hard work, dedication and experience of these NHS professionals which is extremely disappointing.
Coupled with national reports and recommendations which draw similar conclusions, we are confident that the planned changes will enable high quality services to continue in the future and be accessible for people across the county, something that is agreed by all other health partners in Dorset.
Since the launch of the Clinical Services Review we have encouraged people to find out the facts via our website www.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk where we publish the latest updates and will continue to do so throughout 2019.
Chief Officer, NHS Dorset CCG