Absolutely—that is exactly why I talked about making sure that we make the most of our existing infrastructure. I would love to work with my hon. Friend on that, too.
I am committed to fighting the tide of the removal of services wholeheartedly, because Bishop Auckland hospital is a lifeline for my constituents, especially those in our rural communities. At the weekend, I attended the local NHS trust consultation on moving the award-winning stroke rehabilitation unit. It would move to an overcrowded hospital and be combined with a busy, stressful acute ward that is not conducive to recovery. Frontline staff have contacted me to express their opposition. The public are expressing theirs and I was proud to stand up at the meeting and express my opposition and how I will fight against the ward closure.
I am really grateful to my right hon. Friend the Health Secretary for meeting me to talk about this issue, and I will continue to work with him to ensure that part of the increased funding provided in the Bill will go to Bishop Auckland hospital and enable it to become the local focal point of healthcare again. Bishop Auckland residents should know that I will fight tooth and nail to save our services and restore our A&E. The Bill will certainly help in that fight, and I am delighted to speak in favour of it.