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MP welcomes new chief exec to Southport and Formby NHS Trust


Bill Esterson has welcomed the appointment of a new chief executive for Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust.


The MP for Sefton Central said he hoped the appointment of Trish Armstrong-Child would mean the improvements seen under the former chief executive would continue and that funding would soon be secured for a walk-in centre in Southport & Formby Hospital.


Mr Esterson said: "I would like to extend the warmest welcome to Ms Armstrong-Child and wish her all the best in her new role. Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust has faced some challenging times in recent years but enjoyed some stability under Silas Nicholls and his leadership team.


"These are difficult times for the NHS after years of austerity which have resulted in cuts to services and Trusts posting record deficits. Under the Conservatives and previously with their Lib Dem partners, NHS budgets have been squeezed to the bone.


"Southport & Formby Hospital needs a walk-in centre to ease pressure on A&E and I hope Ms Armstrong-Child will join me and our Labour parliamentary candidate Liz Savage in calling on the government to invest the necessary funds for a walk-in centre."


Southport & Ormskirk's current chief Silas Nicholls will soon take up a new role as chief executive of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust. Under Mr Nicholls, who has been in post since April 2018, Southport & Ormskirk Trust has seen reduced waits in A&E, fewer patients being treated in corridors and has cut the number of patients waiting in ambulances more than 60 minutes.


The Trust recently posted a £30m deficit and is currently rated "Requires Improvement" by the CQC.


There is currently no walk-in centre in north Sefton, and children cannot be seen at Southport A&E - they must travel to Ormskirk for emergency treatment. There are walk-in centres in Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Litherland.


The MP said: "Walk-in centres provide crucial extra capacity for the health service to treat people quickly when they need it, and they take pressure off A&E. Southport Hospital's chief executive Silas Nicholls has said he wants to see a walk-in centre in Southport. It would mean extra investment for NHS services in the town and would help to secure the hospital's own future. It is a real shame that the Lib-Dems and Conservatives in Southport and Formby have opposed a walk-in centre.


"A massive cut in the budget for the NHS and social care since 2010 has meant there is less money for services - 'efficiency savings' are just a cover for cuts. The NHS is struggling to meet need and that includes community services, especially social care for the elderly and people with disabilities.


"A walk-in centre can offer a far more efficient way to deal with less serious issues and helps to keep people out of A&E.


"It would mean children don't have to travel 10 miles to Ormskirk to get treatment for minor injuries. I will be writing to the Secretary of State urging him to step in and provide the resources that are needed to make this happen."


Walk-in centres offer treatment for minor ailments and injuries for patients who are away from home or whose regular GP service is not available.


Walk-in centres tend to be open for longer hours than GP surgeries and you don't need an appointment to use one. They take pressure off accident and emergency services by dealing with more minor conditions and injuries.


A petition for a walk-in centre can be found at at https://www.change.org/p/north-sefton-ccg-and-southport-and-ormskirk-hospital-trust-a-walk-in-centre-at-southport-hospital, or by searching "change.org Southport walk in centre".


PIC: Liz Savage and Bill Esterson at Southport & Formby Hospital

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