A question of health

PUBLISHED: 12:11 09 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

MP Oliver Heald is not satisfied with a health minister's reply to a question over the future of the Royston and District Hospital. He had urged Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to issue a statement on the future of the hospital - especially as the Govern

MP Oliver Heald is not satisfied with a health minister's reply to a question over the future of the Royston and District Hospital. He had urged Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to issue a statement on the future of the hospital - especially as the Government announced last month that it planned to save cottage hospitals. But in an answer health minister Rosie Winterton told Mr Heald: "The future of Royston hospital is a matter for local decision making which should take full account of local circumstances." Mr Heald said: "They have just not answered the question." He continued: "With all the change in the NHS, I just want to keep pressuring to make sure we don't loose the Royston hospital or its re-development funds. "It might look like an easy way out financially to sell it for housing," said the MP for North East Herts. Health care if facing a major shake-up which is set to see a reduction in the number of primary care trust. Under plans being discussed the Royston, Buntingford and Bishop's Stortford Primary Care Trust will disappear and there is the likelihood that two trusts will serve Herts. Meanwhile, Mr Heald has been in discussions with John De Braux, chief executive of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority, on how this will effect Royston Hospital. He said Mr De Braux confirmed a proposal for the future of Royston hospital "would be going forward" when the current NHS shake-up is complete. Andrew Lansley, the MP for south Cambridgeshire and Shadow Health Secretary, has attacked Government financial recovery plan for the NHS. Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, he said: "Four months ago the Health Secretary said that she had recovery plans in place to deliver a deficit in the NHS below £200 million this year. "Now she says that it is £620 million at month six and she simply will not tell the house what her latest figures on months 10 and 11 are telling her.

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