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MP wants answers over vital transport scheme claim


Thursday 5th June 2014 (Andrew Griffiths)
MP wants answers over vital transport scheme claim

BURTON’S MP has again called for mental health chiefs to prove their claim that a vital transport scheme was only ever set to be in place for six months.

Andrew Griffiths (pictured) revealed he had written to Neil Carr, chief executive of South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, on two occasions demanding proof that the scheme, which allowed people from the town to visit sick loved ones in sites such as Tamworth and Stafford, was only ever a short-term option.

The parliamentarian took the drastic action after claiming that he and others involved in campaigning for the Margaret Stanhope Centre to remain open could not recall a time limit on the plan ever being discussed or agreed.

He said: “Neil Carr and the trust are saying that the scheme was only set to last for six months.

“Yet nobody who fought the closure of the campaign has any recollection of a such a timescale ever being set for the scheme.

“I have now written to the trust, asking for proof that the scheme was only set to last for six months, on two different occasions.

“If they cannot provide the proof then everyone will know that we cannot trust what the trust tells us.”

A trawl through the Mail’s own archives did not uncover any proof that the scheme was intended to be a six-month one.

Mr Griffiths, unsatisfied with the two responses that he has received so far, has now written to Mr Carr for a third time.

His letter said: “Dear Sir, Did you tell anyone that the transport scheme would last for just six months? Your sincerely, Andrew Griffiths.”

The parliamentarian added: “We still have no conclusive proof that this scheme was only set to last for six months.

“This is why I have sent a one-sentence letter to Mr Carr in a bid to try to get an answer once and for all.”

In a letter to Mr Griffiths, Mr Carr said: “I certainly do not wish to abdicate my responsibilities and desires to ensure that carers are not disadvantaged when visiting their relatives, however I am aware that I am reporting to you second-hand decisions that were made by the former primary care trust which, as you know, is now dissolved.

“If you would like me to attempt to source an office of that organisation who could give you first-hand information, I will do so.”

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