Friday, 16 March 2007

Taking David Cameron to the Hospitals...

Today I was able to take David Cameron to a local community hospital in Ely in Cambridgeshire. I picked him up off the train from London and we drove past the cathedral to visit this excellent local hospital. Just the sort of service that smaller towns need. It is important that in the crisis in the NHS we focus on smaller hospitals and services as well as the really big ones.

He toured the radiography, minor injuries, day surgery and neuro-rehab units talking to doctors, nurses and patients as well as volunteers. We used a lot of alcohol gel - but there were few sinks for washing hands.

Cambridgeshire PCT is over £50 million in debt, the PCT chairman tried to persuade me that this debt would be ringfenced and would not affect services. In Ely though they have had a problem with a recruitment freeze in appointing GPs. Patients deserve top quality of care. Locum doctors can be excellent but they don't follow the patients history and can't give continuity of care. A hospital is not just a building its the staff that work there.

David and Andrew Lansley also spoke to the press about new policies the Conservatives are launcing on public health.

Ely is not a teaching hospital - it doesn't have many junior doctors. Who will be doing all the junior doctors jobs in the bigger hospitals this August if the MTAS crisis is not resolved?

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