I am pasting below a letter one of my colleagues has received from a man whose daughter was helped by one of the Burns Units. It was sent a few days ago but I delayed posting it until now because I wanted to check that it could be published.
The context (although I suspect most people have at least seen some coverage by now) is that there was a threat to intensive care beds at two Burns Units - Whiston Hospital and Alder Hey. The suggestion was that these be moved to Manchester. A huge campaign started up including a petition drive, street stalls etc. The Lib Dems in Liverpool were very involved in collecting signatures (in fact I have never seen a petition collect names so quickly). Last week there was a ministerial announcement that the move was off the agenda, at least for now.
Anyway, here's the letter.
Dear Colin (Eldridge - one of my Lib Dem colleagues on the City Council and PPC for Liverpool Wavertree)
Thank you so much for letting me know the news about the Burns Service at Alder Hey. After corresponding via email for so many long months with Andy Burnham and Mike Farrar; it would have been nice to have been included in the circulation of the press release.
I feel real sense of victory and elation at the statement made, however this is tempered with caution because we have had these commitments before back in 2007 when they first tried to remove the service to Manchester. I hope with all my heart that this is not a stalling exercise to coincide with the General Election. I also know that without our efforts this inept process would have succeeded, only in June of this year was a press release issued by the Regional Burns review body announcing Manchester as the proffered option and not until we raised informed questions about the process did the SHA and latterly Andy Burnham appear to take a forced interest in the matter.
Many people outside the Health system have been involved in supporting our campaign but I firmly believe that without the involvement of yourself and the Leadership within Liverpool City Council we would not have had today’s announcement. We tried to engage politicians across the political spectrum but the first one to come out publicly in Liverpool; with a passion and energy to engage with the campaign was you.
I would like to thank you on behalf of my daughter Hollie and my family your support forced others to act and as a result we have a victory; I would ask that you please maintain your support and vigilance so that any future attempt can be rebutted in the same way. I also ask that the leadership of our city, seek assurance from the PCT that no other attempts are made to take our Health system up the motorway to finance Manchester’s.
With thanks and appreciation
Paul Fitzsimmons (Father of a Burns victim)