CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HEALTH – NEW FOREST COMMUNITY HOSPITALS – 2 November 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: The hon. Gentleman [Edward Davey] is right to recount that tale, because it is replicated wherever we look. In Lyndhurst in my constituency, Fenwick hospital was "temporarily closed" because of a shortage of staff leading to health and safety concerns. Once that was rectified, did it reopen? Not likely.

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Dr Lewis: I thank my hon. Friend [Dr Andrew Murrison] for coming to my constituency. In New Forest, East, in New Forest, West and in Romsey, five community hospitals are under threat. What does he think about a consultation process whereby the leagues of friends generate a 41,000-name petition and hand it to the Chief Executive of the PCT, who, on going back into his building, is reliably overheard to say, "Where is the nearest bin?" That is what happened.

[Dr Murrison: I agree with my hon. Friend and I was happy to add my name to the Early Day Motion that he tabled on this subject. I would like to tell him about the consultation that I conducted in Warminster four years ago. It was a fantastic comprehensive exercise, involving no cost to the Treasury, but it was ignored by health policy managers. I need not tell my hon. Friend what the survey showed: there was overwhelming support for Warminster hospital.]