Concern over ‘missing’ millions for health centres in Clitheroe and Colne

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ALARM bells are being rung in Pendle over money set aside for new NHS health centres in Colne, Clitheroe and Great Harwood.

Pendle Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Greaves, who represent’s Colne’s Waterside Ward, said: “Our local East Lancashire Primary Care Trust allocated a reserve of over £10m. for the three new health centres in Colne, Clitheroe and Great Harwood.

“It is a now a mystery where this £10m. has gone and who will make decisions about how to spend it. The serious worry is that it will be spent on redundancies as part of the NHS reorganisation, or to make up deficits in other parts of Lancashire or the North West – or even elsewhere in the North of England or London.”

Coun. Greaves points out the local East Lancashire PCT has been closed as the NHS prepares for the changes in the Health and Social Care Bill currently before Parliament, and included in a temporary “NHS Lancashire” cluster of the five PCTs in the county area. The North West Strategic Health Authority has also been closed down and included in a temporary North of England body.

Coun. Greaves has tabled a motion for the Pendle Council meeting on February 23rd which asks for information on where this money now lies and who will make decisions to spend it, and for assurances that the three health centres will still be built.

“It will be a scandal if this money is stolen from East Lancashire in order to prop up the NHS in some other area that could not look after its finances as well as they did here,” he said.

“All three towns need these new health centres. I hope everyone in this area will work together to make sure that this money is used to make a start on building them. I will also use my position as a member of the House of Lords to take up this matter with the government.”