NHS Workforce and Service Development

Part of Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:24 pm on 11th October 2006.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Leader's Parliamentary Private Secretary, Cross-Portfolio and Non-Portfolio Responsibilities 4:24 pm, 11th October 2006

I acknowledge the investment in the NHS and the move towards community services, but the problem is that acute services cannot be operated directly in the community; they need decent sized hospitals that are relatively close to where people live. One consequence of concentrating on specialist hospitals alone is that, in rural areas such as mine, one ends up with the situation such as that at Westmorland general hospital where the medical emergency admissions may soon be shut down because of the drive for the best. The best is becoming the enemy of the good enough. Does the hon. Gentleman accept that we need to ensure that we have safe services that are close enough to people for them to get there in time to survive and be stabilised when they have conditions such as heart attacks?