An MP has hit out at the consultation process over plans to move key hospital services from Wolverhampton to Cannock, saying the views of 40,000 people in his constituency had been left out.
Last week it was announced that more than 20,000 outpatient cases a year would move from Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital to Cannock Chase under a shake-up of health care in the area.
But while people living within the city boundaries of Wolverhampton are being consulted on the plans in a series of 'listening meetings', South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson said people in his constituency had been left out of the process.
However, New Cross chief executive David Loughton insists that people in and around Cannock have been widely contacted about the plans since they were first mooted last year.
The proposal, which comes as a result of the imminent takeover of Cannock Chase Hospital by the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, would see some treatments and non-emergency surgeries moved away from Wolverhampton.
Mr Williamson said New Cross was the primary hospital for 40,000 people in his constituency and it was unfair that they had been excluded.
He has now written to Mr Loughton, urging him to carry out a thorough consultation in the area.
Mr Williamson said: “Both these hospitals serve South Staffordshire residents.
"It therefore seems utterly nonsensical that South Staffordshire residents’ views are not being sought.
"This step could seriously impact thousands of local people – some of whom may have attended New Cross Hospital their entire life – and we deserve to have our say."
Under the proposals, routine surgeries such as gall bladder surgery, hernia repair and hip, knee and ankle surgery would be carried out in Cannock Chase Hospital.
Day treatment, including endoscopy, rheumatology and dermatology, would also move to the site.
Around 10,000 existing patients are likely to be affected, which is just under a quarter of the total number of people who presently have inpatient and day case surgery at New Cross Hospital, each year.
Mr Williamson urged his constituents to express their views through the website www.wolverhamptonccg.nhs.uk or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org