I have been contacted by a number of angry constituents regarding a leaflet circulated by the local Labour party ahead of May’s local elections. This regards the future of Bassetlaw Hospital, so I therefore think it’s important for me to set the record straight.
Unfortunately, it is commonplace for false and misleading information about our hospital being spread before elections. The information they have provided has absolutely no basis in reality. In fact, only last week the hospital had a new MRI scanner delivered and has a £15 million investment in a new A&E upgrade on the way, which will also enable people to bring their children back to the hospital at evenings and weekends, rather than having to commute to Doncaster.
The Prime Minister and Health Secretary visited Worksop in November 2019 and the investment has also been mentioned in Parliament a number of times. It has been made clear (including at the full council meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council on March 25th) that we will also continue to use neighbouring health services, such as in Doncaster and Sheffield when required. We all know Nottingham is a long way away and there are issues with transport links, which is why we do this.
Labour have deliberately misrepresented a government white paper and are using this to mislead the public.
This leaflet also stems from their anti-Nottinghamshire attitude and an obsession with us joining the Sheffield City Region, which is never going to happen (certainly not whilst I am the Member of Parliament here) and is more about their own failed political ambitions than the needs of local people.
I’m afraid the hospital has been used as a political football for the last 30+ years, with the hope that telling people it will close is going to cause hysteria, whilst there is then a disingenuous campaign to ‘save our hospital’, which usually follows. I find it grossly immoral that they choose to do this and cause distress towards elderly and vulnerable people who rely on these services - especially during a pandemic.
Personally, I find their behaviour shameful and this is why I believe it is important for me to call this nonsense out publicly.
Meanwhile, we have also had the great news that Bassetlaw will see £4 million invested into local community mental health services. This boost, over the next three years, will make a huge difference locally. Community mental health is something that is all too often forgotten about and is something I have been keen to see more attention and financial support given to. This investment will mean that there will be more support available for community care, urgent care and support for those at home.
I am proud of our local NHS and it will always be my number one priority.