HC Deb 05 December 1995 vol 268 c130
7. Mr. Riddick

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the development package recently announced by the Huddersfield national health service trust. [2178]

Mr. Malone

I very much welcome this £10 million development programme. It will provide improved health care facilities for the people of Huddersfield, in the context of a modern health service.

Mr. Riddick

Does my hon. Friend agree that this £10 million development programme, across a range of health facilities in my local hospital, represents a remarkable investment in improved health care for the people in and around Huddersfield and is the sort of good news about which we never hear from Opposition Members? Is he aware that I get far fewer complaints about my local hospitals than, for example, about my local Labour council?

Mr. Malone

I am not surprised to learn of the content of my hon. Friend's postbag, because he does indeed have an excellent local hospital. May I, in the words of the trust chief executive, point out that

Never before have we had so many new developments planned on this scale … together, they form a major step forward for patient care"? That is a great improvement, in the context of that particular hospital. What the Labour party always fails to acknowledge is that such things are happening throughout the country. Perhaps when it happens in the areas of Opposition Members, they might table the sort of question that my hon. Friend tabled today.

Mrs. Mahon

Does the Minister accept that what happens in Huddersfield impacts on Calderdale, because they share the same purchaser? Is he aware that the development about which he talks means that in Calderdale we will lose 300 badly needed beds?

Mr. Malone

Yet again, we have the hon. Lady complaining about investment in the health service which will benefit the whole range of the population that this hospital trust serves. Of course we understand that it is up to local health authorities to decide where they purchase their health care; now they will be able to do so on behalf of my hon. Friend's constituents and those of the hon. Lady. Those people can be served by this hospital through updated facilities in which £10 million is being invested. I would have thought that the hon. Lady might welcome that.

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