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.
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:
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.