As ever, my right hon. Friend is absolutely right; he is intuitive. We need greater clarity on this matter, and our constituents want reassurance and certainty.
I have outlined some of the successes of Southend Hospital, as well as the areas in which greater support and investment are needed. The hospital serves just under 340,000 people and, although challenged by the pressures on the system, has managed to lead the way in world-class care. Southend is becoming a hub of medical education and training, with both the gynaecology and trauma teams recognised as some of the best in the country. Pioneering cancer and stroke care at the hospital is at the forefront of treatment innovation, but those excellent services cannot continue at such a standard without investment and support. I hope that the Minister will closely consider our constituents’ concerns, and I look forward to hearing from him what more the Government can do to ensure that Southend Hospital retains its world-class services. I would also be grateful for an update in due course from the Secretary of State, perhaps by letter, on the STP referral when that decision has been made. I look forward to working with the Department proactively on that issue.