Cllr Adam Farrell, the Labour Group Leader and Secretary in North Warwickshire, has been criticised for scaremongering residents, patients and staff at the George Eliot Hospital after retracting a shocking statement.
With the ‘leak’ of rumours over the future of A&E and Maternity services at the Eliot in the Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) last week, Cllr Farrell was quick to jump on the news and released a statement with a politically charged false accusation “these secret plans drawn up by pen pushers because of decisions by Conservative politicians are a complete disgrace.” Cllr Farrell later deleted this shocking statement and replace it with “If these plans are right then this is terrible news for local people”.
Deputy Leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council David Wright (Conservative) expressed his anger at Cllr Farrell’s actions:
“It is disappointing that Cllr Farrell has tried to score political points out of our hospital by creating scare stories for residents before having the full facts. This shows his inexperience, this is a really important issue for local people – the future of services of the George Eliot, but Cllr Farrell is far more interested as using it as an opportunity for a political campaign and accusations. I understand Cllr Farrell is new to the Council let alone in the leadership role but this is shameful behaviour.”
Cllr Farrell altered his statement when the STP document was released. The Labour Group Leader stated that ‘A&E and Maternity Ward to close at George Eliot Hospital’ despite no evidence being available at the time. Cllr Farrell then tried to secretly backtrack on the outlandish claims by amending the statement when the STP document did not confirm his claims.
The STP Board and George Eliot Hospital were unhappy with the leaked rumours which led to great distress.
Cllr Wright called on Adam Farrell to apologise:
“Its time that Cllr Farrell apologised for the unnecessary stress he has put on patients, staff and residents and to say sorry for making false accusations.
“Instead let’s focus on the future of the Hospital, local Conservatives fully support our hospital and its onsite services and we await complete details to emerge from the STP.”