Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin slams government on support for Russells Hall

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called on Government Ministers to get a grip on finances and waiting times at Russells Hall.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Austin slammed the Government for failing Dudley patients on waiting times and allowing Russells Hall to develop a £12 million deficit.  In his reply the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed that 86 trusts across the country are forecasting deficits.

Austin spoke after asking hundreds of local residents for their views on the hospital with 9 in 10 saying they had concerns over the impact the hospital’s deficit would have on waiting times at the hospital.

The hospital’s Chief Executive Paula Clark has called the hospital’s finances “critical” and said that jobs were at risk as bosses battle to bring costs down.

Recent reports have also revealed that Russells Hall has missed its cancer treatment targets for the last three months, has kept patients waiting up to five hours for chemotherapy and is being investigated for waits at A&E.

Speaking in the debate, Ian Austin said:

“Jobs at Russells Hall hospital are at risk as managers battle with a £12 million deficit that the chief executive says is “critical”, staff are working flat out but people are waiting too long in A&E and waiting too long for other treatment too.

“What’s he going to do to make sure that patients at Dudley and hard-working staff at Russells Hall get the support that they need?”

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