23 MAY 2014

Labour plays politics with Frenchay Hospital yet again

It's not enough that the last Labour Government downgraded our beloved Frenchay hospital; they are now trying to play politics again with Frenchay's closure.


Today, Labour turned up at Frenchay Hospital to protest against its closure. It is astonishing that they are now doing this. The hospital was downgraded under the last Labour Government. It just goes to show how out of touch they have become and with what little regard they hold local people and our community.


It was the Labour Party's decision to close Frenchay in 2005 in favour of Southmead Hospital, despite ardent local opposition. Indeed, the Labour Health Secretary at the time, Patricia Hewitt MP, refused to listen to local residents. She chose to ignore a 50,000 signature petition by local people calling for an investigation into the decision to close Frenchay A&E and downgrade the hospital. Moreover, only a few months ago local Labour councillors voted against a Conservative motion to save beds at Frenchay Hospital- condemning it to closure. Frenchay's closure is Labours worst legacy in our area.


Conservatives have always fought hard for Frenchay. As local MPs, Chris Skidmore and I have called two debates on Frenchay in Parliament- not one Labour MP attended. When the decision over beds at Frenchay was referred to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel last year, something the previous Labour Government refused to do, we wrote jointly in support of the hospital.


For Labour to turn up now outside the hospital - which they did absolutely nothing to save and allowed to close under their watch - is insulting to local people. Where was Labour when local residents needed their support?

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