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Neston MP Questions Arrowe Park Quarantine Decision

Published: 31st January 2020 11:38

Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, has directed a series of questions to NHS England about the decision to quarantine people airlifted from Wuhan in Arrowe Park Hospital.

Arrowe Park Hospital

It is being reported that 87 people from the area that is the epicentre of the current Coronavirus outbreak, have landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and are being bused to a staff accomodation block at the hospital near Birkenhead, Wirral.

No public statement has yet been made on the decision to choose the hospital and there has been considerable concern voiced over the displacement of the staff who were living in the block and given less than 48 hours to move, as well as the wider concerns over the potential threat to public health.

On Twitter, Mr Madders posed the following questions to NHS England:

1. Are existing appointments being honoured?
2. What safeguards are in place to monitor movements on site?
3. Can a helpline/webpage be set up to answer queries?
4. Who is responsible for enforcing the quarantine?
5. Where are the medical staff coming from?
6. Why did the press statements say the buildings were empty when there are people living there?
7. Where are the displaced people being put and for how long?

In response, other Twitter users have posed additional questions: 'What budget is paying for this?' and 'Was this service tendered for - or were they compelled by government to house the quarantine?'

Many commentators on social media are raising concerns that the hospital is a particularly busy one, in a limited geographical space and that it has had well documented long-standing issues with Norovirus.  It has also been rated by the CQC as 'requiring improvement.'

Wilder suggestions include suspicions that the fact that Wirral remained resolutely Labour in the recent elections may have influenced the decision, and that, as a peninsula, it might be easier to quarantine the entire area should an outbreak of the virus occur.

No answers have yet been forthcoming to Justin's questions, but we will update as and when any response is received.

The following statement has, however, been posted on the Wirral University Teaching Hospital website:

Statement from WUTH

Meanwhile, books, jigsaw puzzles and other games have been collected by a resident in Neston (name not supplied), and donated to the families staying at Arrowe Park during the quarantine.



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At 14:10 on 31st January 2020, Snapdragon commented:
We should be proud that this area has been selected to do this. By the way , Justin, this is Wirral and not your patch.
Dave Carter
At 14:58 on 31st January 2020, Dave Carter commented:
Arrowe Park is the main hospital, or at least one of the two, for Neston residents, so of course he is right to ask questions on behalf of his constituents. And those all seem reasonable questions, which may very well have reasonable answers.
Tim Wright
At 14:59 on 31st January 2020, Tim Wright commented:
A considerable number of Neston residents are referred to Arrowe Park for their medical treatment and many of us also visit patients there. Based on that I'd say our MP has a legitimate interest in asking these questions. I also think it is nothing to do with being proud of the area being selected. The questions are reasonable under the circumstances. I certainly want to know the answers.
New User
At 15:30 on 31st January 2020, New User commented:
There are 4 specialist isolation and treatment units in England, 2 of which are state of the art modern facilities in the London area so it makes no sense whatsoever to bus UK Nationals evacuated from Wuhan 170 miles across the country from Brize Norton to the Wirral as Arrowe Park Hospital is struggling as referenced in this article by the QCQ assessment of it as 'requiring improvement'. The government have tried to make out that there were empty accommodation blocks at Arrowe Park that they were able to use. This is untrue as medical staff have been forced out of their accommodation at very short notice to make way for the Wuhan evacuees. The accommodation block at Arrowe Park hospital is not in an isolated area as it is just 100 metres from the hospital's main entrance and adjacent to public car parks. Who is going to ensure that the quarantined people cannot wander into the main hospital building when they get bored of their confinement to use the League of Friends shop/café, the adjacent park and pub?
Australia has the sense to keep quarantined people well away from population centres. The British government doesn't seem to have an ounce of commonsense and needs to follow the Australian example.
At 10:56 on 5th February 2020, Shelagh commented:
It's a nuisance, but they have to go somewhere. I don't think the quarantined people will be silly or selfish enough to wander into public areas of the hospital, even if they were allowed to do so. They might not even be ill. This is just a precaution. There's nothing to be gained by panicking.
At 12:47 on 6th February 2020, undefined commented:
Justin has every right to ask the questions for his constituents who, as someone else commented, are often referred to Arrowe Park. No one is panicking but we are speaking out as we should do. Surely the sensible thing to do was to quarantine people in China and not spread those who may be contaminated all over the world! I understand that British Nationals who were in China should be cared for but so should the greater public. There is always a risk and as someone above said, Arrow Park were told by CQC that they require improvements so surely this is NOT the best place to put people in quarantine! Chttps://www.cqc.org.uk/location/RBL14. I see none were put in the capital but suddenly the Government have realised there is a North to this country!
At 09:48 on 7th February 2020, Denno commented:

More to the point Mr. Madders is will APH be adequately compensated by the Gov. for this extra service they are providing?

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