Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017.
This week, Richard raised the ongoing concerns about Bedford Hospital’s future with the Prime Minister.
At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Richard sought assurances that the NHS’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Bedfordshire would be ‘subject to proper local accountability and full local decision authority’.
In her response, the Prime Minister said: “It is absolutely the point of these plans that they are locally driven.”
“They will be considered locally and should be taking into account the concerns and interests locally, not just those of the clinical commissioning groups, but those of the local authorities and of the public. These plans must be driven from the locality, so I give my hon. Friend that assurance.”
Richard also heavily criticised the Beds and MK Healthcare Review as an ‘abject failure that lost all credibility with local people’. In June, the Review published recommendations for significant changes to services, such as plans to close maternity services at Bedford Hospital, and then refused to answer any questions.
Richard has continued to campaign for the multi-million pound Healthcare Review into a merger between Bedford and Milton Keynes Hospitals to be scrapped. He has also called for the STP to include Bedford Borough Council’s cross-party alternative report, which outlines a number of ways in which social care and hospital services could be integrated to save money and ensure that Bedford Hospital can continue to provide as many local services as possible.