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NHS 10-Year Plan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:48 pm on 19th February 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 6:48 pm, 19th February 2019

I shall be very brief and make one point.

I am pleased that this Government have seen the light. Whereas previous Governments made mistakes in going for large-scale reorganisations, this Government seem to have learned from them and I am very pleased about that. The problem is that trusts now seem to have turned their attention to community hospitals. I have two excellent community hospitals in Stroud and the Vale, but we are now facing the loss of radiography time. Minor injury units are not facing closure but they have restricted opening hours, and operating theatres are frequently left empty. That simply results in more pressure on acute hospitals, so it is counterproductive.

Will the Minister look at the impact on community hospitals, which are really important to rural areas? It is vital that we see them play an integral part in our NHS. Otherwise, we will just have A&Es snarling up and that is not acceptable in any way, so I hope the Government will invest time and effort and encourage trusts to reconsider the value of community hospitals.