Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke to Labour councillors, members and NHS campaigners – including from the Save Cossham residents group and Protect Our NHS – gathered outside Frenchay this morning to highlight the broken promises at Frenchay under the Tory-led Government.
“Many local people will be very disappointed and anxious that Frenchay Hospital is closing its doors and is moving many of its services to Southmead Hospital. The new facilities at Southmead are very welcome, but still residents are not getting what they were promised. After a lengthy consultation years ago, residents accepted the Bristol Health Services Plan to move acute services from Frenchay to the new Southmead site, on the basis that Frenchay would be protected as a Community Hospital. But under this Government that end of the deal has been completely undermined.
“Residents were promised that following the closure of the A&E there would still be 68 inpatient beds at Frenchay for people needing rehabilitation, as well as hospital outpatient clinics, therapy services and access to diagnostic tests such as x-rays.
“But since then, under this Government, the decision has been made to scrap provision of ‘a fixed number of beds’, to ditch the provision of outpatient clinics, therapy services and diagnostic tests, and to provide no inpatient beds at all at Frenchay until 2016.
“All this despite Kingswood's Conservative MP Chris Skidmore claiming last summer that he had already "ensured that Frenchay will continue as a Community Hospital". That clearly was not the case, and local people have been left angry and distrusting at this backtracking.
“Residents want and deserve decent, easy-to-access NHS facilities, but this is yet another example that the Tories cannot be trusted with the NHS.”