I am sure the Minister will have heard what the hon. Gentleman has said. Indeed, that is why I entitled the debate “Community Hospitals” rather than simply “Congleton Community Hospital”.
As I have said, the hospital at Congleton has a family feel. I can testify to that following my most recent visit, just last week. I met kindly nursing staff who were clearly dedicated and committed to serving the community in and around Congleton, and who were proud to tell me that they had, through sound management, recently achieved an increase in the number of in-patients treated. About 350 are currently cared for each year in the Aston unit.
In addition to the minor injuries unit and in-patient care facilities, the hospital provides out-patient clinics, with approximately 9,000 out-patient attendances each year in a wide range of specialties. For instance, there are about 1,600 appointments a year for adult audiology treatment and about 1,000 for general surgery, and a similar number of gynaecology treatments. There are also about 2,000 trauma and orthopaedic appointments. Other services include blood tests, occupational therapy, a physiotherapy gym, district nursing, dementia services, and a highly popular GP out-of-hours service.