Radical and urgent changes are needed to fix healthcare in Peterborough is the message from the leader of the city council.
Councillor Marco Cereste was speaking at a Health and Wellbeing board meeting last Thursday (11 December) when he declared that “thinking outside the box” is needed quickly to improve the situation.
He said: “It seems to be a very, very deep hole. How are we going to work together to deal with it?
“Doing things as we are now is not going to work.
David Whiles, chairman of Healthwatch Peterborough, said: “We need to think differently and that’s beginning to happen. Tinkering is not going to work. We need to rip things apart.”
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Cereste added: “Peterborough City Hospital is around £40 million in debt and the local Clinical Commissioning Group is short of funding.
“You put all that together and you get a health service under extreme pressure.
“I genuinely believe the way forward to make the issues more manageable is for us to have city health services, works and pensions, employment, education and local authorities all come together as a single management board. Proper devolution.
“If it was up to me we would be doing it next year but the time-scale is outside my control.
“We all need to work together to alleviate the congestion in A&E. For the first time I can remember there has been no respite in the summer, the pressure has been on throughout the year.