Flawed in so many ways
Monday's meeting of Northumberland County Council has sealed the fate of Berwick Infirmary, at least in its mind.
Yet the first question I would ask any of these sage people regards the 2014 NHS report into that proposal, which detailed the services available at Berwick (many of which have now been lost) and recommended further services, precisely because of our geographic location.
So, has the health and wellbeing of the local people and visitors so dramatically improved that these services are no longer needed, or is it your collective decision that we don’t deserve them, or that you are merely on a cost-cutting mission and are content to transfer the cost of providing such from the public purse to private individuals’ pockets?
Coun Peter Jackson and others have poured oily words on troubled waters saying there will not be a reduction in services, but it doesn’t take a maths degree to know nothing from nothing equals nothing.
I believe the proposal, flawed in so many ways, is subject to a business plan and further ‘consultation’.
A quick and very unscientific, but very conservative estimate of the hidden costs is that if 10 people a week have to travel south to other hospitals for minor treatments once provided at Berwick, or to visit loved ones, it costs a collective £500,000.
That’s £0.5million from the poorest economy in Northumberland that might otherwise be spent in our community.
The fight continues.