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Saving the war memorial portico at the cottage hospital

October 22, 2014 8:45 PM

Phil Knowles has secured what is being described as a step forward with the news that NHS England Boss Simon Stevens has asked Paul Watson (NHS England Regional Director Midlands & East) to investigate and respond directly to Phil Knowles. This as the long running saga on Harborough Hospital, War Memorial and Portico takes yet another twist.

For over 25 years Cllr Phil Knowles has been at the forefront of the fight for the Harborough Cottage Hospital with concerns about the long term protection of the war memorial and portico a key issue. In August Cllr Knowles, along with his fellow Councillors Barbara Johnson, Sarah Hill, Pete Callis and Roger Dunton collated a 3000+ signature petition and served it on the NHS England CEO urging him to intervene midst revelations that the funding to secure the future of the memorial had been removed from the NHS budget.

Cllr Phil Knowles said:

"The public concerns are well documented. Constant delays on the delivery of the overall hospital project. Worries about the long term future of the war memorial were the final straw and the catalyst for the huge swell of public support for the petition. Simon Stevens letter is undoubtedly a step forward. It acknowledges that NHS England recognise the public concerns and gives a commitment that Mr Paul Watson - NHS England Regional Director will investigate and respond directly to me. This is an important opportunity to see the War Memorial and Portico future secured and to see the necessary assurances given to the public.

"I would welcome the chance to meet with Mr Watson to ensure that he has all of the facts in the matter and can appreciate all the problems we have seen with this project. I hope to hear from Mr Watson to set a date for us to sit down together."

The NHS England letter to Cllr Knowles dated 8 October 8th received earlier this week had one final twist. It acknowledged that the letter from Phil Knowles to Simon Stevens and the 3000 + signature petition dated 21 August 21st had been received by the NHS in August but had only 'recently arrived' in the office of the CEO Simon Stevens.

This seems to suggest that it had been left untouched, unaddressed for weeks. Why?