Health campaigner wants answers after hearing 'rumours' that a significant part of the new building at Harborough's St Luke's Hospital isn’t being used
A leading health campaigner is demanding urgent answers over a £7.5 million Market Harborough hospital.
Cllr Phil Knowles has put a simple question to local health chiefs – is St Luke’s Hospital being seriously under-used?
He is now waiting to hear back from East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which manages regional healthcare services.
Cllr Knowles said: “This is a straightforward issue.
“Is St Luke’s Hospital being used to its full potential or not?”
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He added: “I’ve heard a lot of rumours recently that a significant part of the new building isn’t being used.
“I don’t deal in rumours – I want hard cold facts.
“But this is very concerning and I urgently want to get to the bottom of this.”
Cllr Knowles, leader of Harborough council’s opposition Liberal Democrats, fought for almost 30 years to bring St Luke’s to the town.
The hospital was finally opened on Leicester Road almost three years ago at a cost of £7.5 million when it replaced the 108-year-old Cottage Hospital.
“I was delighted to see St Luke’s come here to Harborough after I’d battled for so long alongside so many other campaigners.
“It’s a fantastic asset to the town and people,” said Cllr Knowles.
“But I want to find out if we are getting an increased number of clinics and visiting clinicians and specialists coming here as we were promised.
“Market Harborough is growing all the time, our population’s booming.
“So we need to exploit the huge potential at St Luke’s to the maximum.
“There’s no point in having this first-class facility just up the road while forcing patients to still travel to Leicester, Kettering or elsewhere for tests and treatment.
“I’d also like to have the details of usage of the endoscopy/minor procedures unit on the site.
“How many days per month was it in use for the calendar year 2019 compared to previous years?”
An East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG spokeswoman said: “We advised Cllr Knowles that his request and claims will need to be managed as an FOI request because we are not aware of this.
“As you will appreciate, the CCG needs to liaise with the multi-partners who operate from the site to collate the relevant information so that we can provide factual information.”