City Conservative Health spokesman Councillor Zahid Shah said the extra money would be a boost to recent improvements already made to major local health services, such as the new £25 million Accident and Emergency department due to open in late 2015.

Councillor Shah said, "There has also been funding of £2.5 million last year to provide extra temporary A&E facilities while the new unit is being built. When the new A&E opens it will be integrated with a GP out of hours unit on site because there will be a GP unit on site. Anyone being referred from those GP's for an emergency scan or X-Ray will already be at the hospital to undergo that procedure."

Councillor Shah added that he was puzzled by recent criticism implying that some nonemergency surgery being referred to Cannock Hospital for financial reasons. "In fact, due to the issues surrounding Mid Staffs hospital provision, the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust is taking over Cannock Hospital. To ensure that the sickest people are still treated at New Cross, it is proposed that low-risk, pre-planned surgery should be diverted to Cannock, ensuring that operations should not be unpredictably cancelled due to emergencies.

For further information contact: Councillor ZAHID SHAh on 07771 836877