Frome Victoria Hospital

Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd March 2005.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 11:30 am, 22nd March 2005

If he will make a statement on the planned new Frome Victoria hospital.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

Mendip primary care trust has responsibility for the planning of the new Frome health park development and I am advised that the trust is fully committed to progressing that project.

Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

We look enviously at areas that have new hospitals. Ours was announced in 1997 and we were told in 1998 that it would be opening in 2000, yet we are still looking at a field rather than a new hospital. I know that Mendip PCT is trying to sort out the financial problems, but given the desperate need to replace the existing Frome Vic, given the high expectations in the area for a new hospital and given that the people of Frome have themselves raised £500,000 to equip the new hospital, will the Minister agree to see me and others in the area to find a solution and ensure that Frome actually gets the new hospital that it so richly deserves?

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

I am aware that there have been delays in finding the right site and gaining various planning permissions, but I understand that the PCT is currently in discussion with three preferred bidders to ensure that the NHS gets the best value for money. I will keep an eye on progress in that respect and if the hon. Gentleman would find it helpful to have a meeting at some time in the future, I would be happy to participate in it.