"Tens of millions extra to cover incompetence" says Rochdale MP.
Rochdale's Paul Rowen has criticised the Government by claiming that the £100 million, they recently announced for maternity services in Greater Manchester was '…partly to cover up for incompetence.' The Government claims that they are giving an 'extra' £100 million but already £40 million will be swallowed up by health bosses overspending their budget for maternity services in Greater Manchester."
Paul recently raised this issue with Health Minister Phil Hope MP in the House of Commons. In criticising the reconfiguration, Paul told the Minister, "I am sure that the Minister is aware that "making it better" is now over budget-the plan was for £60 million, but the figure is now £100 million-and over schedule. What assurance can he give us that it is still fit for the purpose?"
Paul said, "One week I raise the issue of the £40 million overspend and in the next this 'new' money is announced. This is partly covering up the incompetence of health bosses delivering the 'Making it Better' programme. Whilst I welcome the fact that the Government is putting many more millions into this project, it is clear that this is also an admission that their planning was woefully inaccurate. Whilst I am pleased about the extra investment that has been put into Oldham, this is a bit of kick in the teeth for our own Rochdale Infirmary.
"This whole process has been one long story of incompetence, overspending on a grand scale and hugely inaccurate birth-rates. When are the Government going to face the fact that they are wrong about Rochdale Infirmary? Their complacency is staggering and I will continue to fight for Maternity Services to remain in our Town. They talk about a new maternity unit being built in Oldham but offer no time-scale, no plans to maintain provision during any building work and very little detail. I will be keeping a keen eye on the situation to ensure that Rochdale parents receive the best possible maternity services.
"One of the reasons given for shutting services in Rochdale Infirmary was the cost of extra consultants, caused by the EU Overtime Directive. This extra investment would have more than met this cost and would have meant retaining much needed maternity services at our local hospital."