15 Sep Cheshire East writes to Government over Macclesfield dental…
COUNCILLORS will write to the Government for a second time over a lack of communication when East Cheshire NHS Trust stopped providing some specialist dental services.
Cheshire East Council’s health and social care overview and scrutiny committee was disappointed when it learned in March that the trust had terminated its contract for Macclesfield Hospital’s specialist oral surgery and orthodontics the previous autumn.
Cllr Stewart Gardiner, the committee’s then-chairman, wrote to health secretary Matt Hancock about the lack of consultation that took place between the trust and CEC or the public and to explain why the move would be bad for residents.
But Mr Hancock’s reply did not refer to the lack of consultation, and at Thursday’s meeting the committee agreed it should ask him to confirm that similar issues should not happen again.
“I would have expected that matter to be addressed,” Cllr Gardiner said.
“We are where we are, I don’t want to revisit what’s happened – what I want are assurances that it won’t happen again going forward.
“As secretary of state, I am looking for him to ensure that there are necessary procedures and protocols in place to ensure that all NHS services that are ceased are subject to proper consultation.”
Orthodontic services were stopped by East Cheshire NHS Trust in March and oral surgery axed in April.
The committee heard that alternative healthcare providers were able to support patients who were affected – including more than 200 who were treated in Macclesfield, either at Weston Clinic or Spire Regency.
Any new referrals for the services are now being directed to the nearest local service available to the patient.
NHS England, which commissioned the service, has committed to keeping the CEC committee informed as it looks to find a new provider next April for the services – which will be redesigned.