06 NOV 2013

Statement on Frenchay Community Hospital

Jack fought against the decision of the last Labour Government to downgrade services at Frenchay Hospital as a parliamentary candidate, and since being elected to Parliament in 2010, has been leading efforts locally to ensure that as many services as possible remain in our local area.

Despite it being initially decided to keep a significant presence on site with plans for a Community Hospital with 68 beds, with outpatients and diagnostic clinics at Frenchay, it now appears the Clinical Commissioning Group wish to reduce these provisions even further.

Jack, along with Chris Skidmore MP, previously met with the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt MP to raise concerns over the hospital delay, and are now seeking a further meeting in light of the latest developments. Jack recently met with the Clinical Commissioning Group and was unsatisfied with their plans.

Jack said, "I have used the NHS all mylife, myself and my three children were born in NHS hospitals, earlier this year I had my own health issues culminating in my being diagnosed with cancer, I know exactly how important our NHS is. I'd like to pay tribute to the Doctors, Nurses and all the staff at Frenchay and Southmead for all the care and support they have given me.

The future of Frenchay Hospital is an incredibly important and emotive local issue ever since the previous Labour Government decided to downgrade our beloved hospital. The Conservatives on South Gloucestershire Council recently put forward a proposal which would fund the retention of services at Frenchay for two years between Frenchay closing and the opening of the new Community Hospital. This was voted down by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, who unfortunately were willing to risk the future of our local hospital in order to engage in political point scoring. This is now the second time Labour have put Frenchay Hospital in peril; more proof, if any were needed, that they can never again be trusted with our NHS.

We really need to end this latest threat to the delivery of what are long-standing promises to local people, especially when we know that by 2014 an extra £12.5 billion per year will be invested into the NHS. I will keep up the pressure to protect our local health services."

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