Princess Royal Hospital, Telford

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:15 am on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 11:15 am, 5th November 2019

May I crave your indulgence, Mr Betts? My hon. Friend Jeremy Lefroy is retiring from Parliament at this election, so it would be wrong of me not to take the opportunity to pay tribute to him. He has been an extraordinary advocate for Stafford and, more than that, an asset to this Parliament and previous ones. He is a thoroughly decent and honourable man, and Parliament will be a poorer place without him sitting in it. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear!”]

In respect of the point that my hon. Friend made, my understanding—I will clarify this subsequently, if necessary—is that the model will be underpinned by comprehensive pathways and protocols agreed with the ambulance services for blue-light transfer when the consultant cover is available, or diversion when not. There is, however, direct engagement with the ambulance trust. As I have said, hon. Members will need time and further discussion to consider the proposal, but I think and hope that they will agree with me that it is a useful first step to making progress.

To conclude, this is positive news for Telford, and that is down to my hon. Friend the Member for Telford, who is a strong and determined local champion for her constituents and for the town of Telford. They are incredibly lucky to have her as their representative and their voice in Parliament. I am confident that that voice will be speaking up for them in this House for many years to come. If they want a strong local voice in this House and for their hospital and NHS, every vote that they cast for my hon. Friend in the forthcoming election will deliver exactly that.

Question put and agreed to.

Sitting suspended.