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Phil Knowles interviewed by the BBC about yet more problems with St Luke's Hospital

June 10, 2014 11:32 PM

Liberal Democrat councillor Phil Knowles gave a stark message to NHS bosses during a BBC interview today - sort out the problems at St Luke's Hospital and and sort them now. or step aside and let someone who can deliver the scheme take over the project.

The endoscopy/minor procedure unit at St Luke's in Market Harborough was finally opened after lengthy delays and seemingly hundreds of thousands of pounds over estimated costs.

Once finally open, it had to be closed again amidst problems with heating and sterilising units. Now Cllr Knowles has made public figures he secured after months of pressure on the NHS, The figures reveal that in two and a quarter years since being opened, the unit has functioned for just 131 days serving just 829 patients.

This is the latest in a catalogue of issues with St Luke's, which has also seen delays in the £6m phase 2 build on the site, with contractors finally expected to be appointed at the end of July and the development expected to be completed in 2016.

The figures obtained and disclosed last week by Phil Knowles were included yesterday in a letter by Harborough's MP to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, urging him to help sort out the mess.

Phil said: "NHS bosses have to sort this out now. It should not be necessary for the MP for Harborough and the Health Secretary to have this matter on their desks. Those at the senior levels of the NHS who are charged with delivery of this project have to deliver the scheme, no more broken promises, no more delays. It is quite simple as far as I am concerned. If they cannot then they should step aside and let those who can deliver the scheme take over. I am sure that NHS bosses will feel considerable disappointment in seeing this matter referred by the MP for Harborough to the Health Secretary. I suspect that the NHS bosses disappointment will be deepened by the fact that this is not the first time that this scheme has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. TV, radio and newspapers have covered this saga for years.''

During his BBC interview Cllr Knowles also placed on record an offer to attend a meeting with the Health Secretary, the Harborough MP and representatives from the NHS to get this situation thrashed out and to give the NHS the earliest opportunity to put their plans on the table.

Speaking this evening, Phil added "The time for apologies has long since passed on this one - the community wants to see the matter sorted and some positive action. This should be an investment in care provision - not money wasted!"