Hopper Bus MP Response To Councillor(February 18, 2016)
South West Wiltshire MP Dr. Andrew Murrison is going to ask the Wiltshire NHS to justify the decision 'that beggars belief' not to support the RUH Hopper bus financially.
After receiving an urgent e-mail from town councillor Paul Macdonald asking him to 'knock some heads together' Dr. Murrison responded within hour.
'Dear Andrew, Thank you for attending the meeting with Warminster Town Councillors where you kindly gave us your thoughts on a range of subjects.,' Paul wrote yesterday afternoon having read the CCG report on-line at cms.wiltshire gov.uk
(*Andrew Murrison pictured at the Poppy awards meeting that he was on his way to when he met councillors)
'I continue to research the situation surrounding the decision by Wiltshire Council and the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group of the NHS not to continue to support the Connect 2 service to the Royal United Hospital.
'I am now convinced that this service that is usually referred to as the 'hopper bus' is irreplaceable and in fact is an exemplary service in financial, health service and social terms.
'I draw your attention to the CCG use of the Arriva service that will have to take up a considerable number of the passenger journeys currently provided by the Hopper bus.
'According to a report prepared last year by the CCG it costs them £2 million to provide 60,000 to 65,000 journeys per year across the whole county.
'According to a report last year by Wiltshire Council they are cutting a funding of around £130,000 to £150,000 which provides 20,000 journeys per year.
'This is so financially inept it almost beggars belief.
'The CCG have admitted that 'the cost pressure transferred to NHS Wiltshire would be greater than the WCC cost saving'.
Knocking Heads Together
'I now firmly believe that rather than closing down the Hopper bus service with their many years of experience in this field it should be the model to be used to cover the whole county.' the e-mail from Paul added.
'I recently met with the Hopper bus owners and staff at an open meeting in Warminster.
'This further opened my eyes to the true value of this service. In nine years they have never received a complaint about their service. This not true of the Arriva Service which is revealed in another CCG report.
'I would invite you to take a very close look at this as a matter of urgency.
'I hope that if you think my view is valid you will talk to the MP for North Wiltshire and consider knocking some heads together.
'Thanking you for your attention to this.'
South West Wiltshire Member of Parliament Andrew responded within a couple of hours thanking Paul.
'Thanks Paul, I'm grateful for your research with figures since in the current climate I'm afraid this is what cuts the mustard,' Andrew wrote.
'I'm going to press the CCG on the money case.'
Paul has also submitted a notice of resolution to a Warminster town council being held on Monday 29th February about the hopper bus.