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Hospital chiefs deny claims of NHS trust takeover

By Jamie Brassington | Sandwell | Health | Published:

Hospital chiefs have strongly denied claims that a Black Country NHS Trust could be disbanded.

Sandwell General Hospital

In recent days it has been suggested that Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust could be split among neighbouring hospital trusts.

Claims have been made that Sandwell General Hospital, in West Bromwich, could be taken over by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust, while the long-delayed Midland Met Hospital in Smethwick could be taken over by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (UHBT), which runs Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Warley MP John Spellar said he was deeply concerned over suggestions that Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust could be disbanded.

“If true, this would be part of the continuing erosion of health services to the people of Sandwell, and would mean that Sandwell General Hospital would become little more than a branch of other local hospital trusts,” the Labour MP said.

“If the trust does break up then the people of Sandwell will be left in the middle. It is they who will suffer, along with people in other places such as Wolverhampton who will have to put up with a deterioration of services.”

The claims were denied by Richard Samuda, chairman of the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, during a monthly board meeting held on Thursday.

Mr Samuda said: “It is absolutely not true [that the trust could be disbanded], it is pure speculation.

“There are no plans of that nature being talked about at the moment.”

Asked if the Midland Met Hospital could be taken over, he said: “Again, this is completely unfounded. The Midland Met build is progressing well.”

Mr Samuda said there was no update on the situation with trust chief executive Toby Lewis, who has been off work since the start of July. "He is still off with ill health," Mr Samuda said.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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