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Local MPs seek answers from the Government on hospital plans

June 22, 2004 12:00 AM

On Friday 18 June, local MP Tom Brake secured a parliamentary debate on the "Better Healthcare Closer to Home" Clinical Services Review with Health Minister Stephen Ladyman. Tom Brake and Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow reminded the Minister that local residents who remember the breach of trust that occurred when a previous NHS trust failed to provide a separate children's hospital on the St. Helier site deserve reassurance that promises will be delivered. Four years ago, when Queen Mary children's hospital was closed, the previous NHS trust gave an undertaking to build a separate hospital on the site of St Helier; an undertaking which has yet to realised.

Mr Brake said, "Everyone agrees that St Helier hospital is not fit for purpose in the 21st century. But we need to achieve consensus on meeting residents' healthcare needs in the 21st century. The formal consultation will run from 1 September to 30 November, but Paul Burstow and I intend to hold a separate public meeting in September to ensure our constituents' views are represented. Factors such as availability of land or the extension of the Croydon tram will have an impact on where the new hospitals are sited. Ultimately, if the Government's plans are to get off the ground, then the Government must be prepared to stump up for the £220 million bill."

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