News that Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is to visit East Cleveland Hospital in Brotton tomorrow (11th March 2015) has been branded a “slap in the face for local NHS patients who have suffered the direct loss of services in their community” by local Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop.
“This is, quite literally, piling insult on to injury. Jeremy Hunt, in what can only be described as blatant electioneering, will be visiting a hospital which in a matter of weeks will be losing its minor injuries unit entirely. For East Cleveland patients this loss will mean will have to face a long, and possibly painful, trip to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough or the Redcar Primary Care Hospital instead.
“This has also been made worse by his own Health Department approving the closure of the nearby New Skelton Walk-in Health Care Centre, a facility that partnered the local hospital and also provided a GP and nurse practitioner service on site.
“Thousands of East Cleveland residents have backed my campaign against the loss of these local NHS services by signing my petition. Unfortunately, this Tory-led Government has failed to listen to their concerns and seems to be ploughing on with the closures.
“Now we are getting close to the General Election, Jeremy Hunt has the audacity to make this visit. He should be coming to firstly, say “sorry” to local people; and secondly, to sit down with me to discuss ways in which these services and facilities can be saved.”