HC Deb 23 March 1993 vol 221 c754
7. Mr. Brandreth

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were treated in the Mersey region in the last year for which figures are available and the previous year.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Tom Sackville)

The figures are 397,000 in 1990–91 and 425,000 in 1991–92: a rise of 7 per cent. over the year.

Mr. Brandreth

I thank my hon. Friend for that encouraging information. Is he aware that the Mersey region has been the most successful region in the country at implementing the health reforms, with more trusts, more fund holders and lower waiting lists? Will he join me in congratulating the staff at the Countess of Chester hospital on the service that they deliver to patients and on the fact that they achieve trust status next week?

Mr. Sackville

I will certainly join my hon. Friend in that. In the sea of municipal despair that characterised the major city of the region during much of the decade, Mersey regional health authority stood out like a beacon of hope and humanity. They are all to be congratulated on what has been achieved in the region.

Mrs. Dunwoody

Is the Minister therefore delighted that the trust that was set up in Crewe, which will be forced into an arrangement with Macclesfield against the wishes of the local people, is in the process of sacking large numbers of nurses? Is that his idea of good health care? I assure him that it does not impress the patients.

Mr. Sackville

I cannot see why the hon. Lady should object about the merger with Macclesfield. In any case, there is no way in which that should lead to a diminution in the employment of nurses.

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