the Government’s Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley MP visited the region recently to discuss over the future of one of the region’s hospitals.
Mr Lansley, who was accompanied by East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, found time to visit Market Weighton Bowls Club where he met with Judy Douglas, chairman of the Alfred Bean League of Friends, to talk about the issues concerning Driffield’s Alfred Bean Hospital.
Mr Lansley had a whistle-stop tour of the region during which he met hospital campaigners, trade union representatives and NHS Trust members in Bridlington and Scarborough to discuss the various issues they are currently facing.
Mrs Douglas said the meeting “went very well” and she was grateful to Mr Lansley for taking 10 minutes out of his schedule to discuss the plight of the hospital.
“It went very well but you never know.
“He certainly knew how to talk the talk and how to listen, it was worth it,”
The proposed loss of the 12 remaining beds at the Bridlington Road medical facility was the primary concern highlighted in a letter penned by the League of Friends and sent to Mr Knight before the meeting.
The letter formed the basis of the discussion between Mr Lansley and Mrs Douglas, while it also contained suggestions about future provision of services at the hospital including “getting rid of excess management from above” to free up funding for better health care.
The visit follows Mr Lansley’s announcement of a change in national health policy which could see local GPs make decisions about what services are commissioned at the Alfred Bean.
Greg Knight, who represents Pocklington and Market Weighton, said: “He wants to see more and more decisions made in terms of hospital services by local GPs.
“Local GPs will generally reflect what the public want which is a big improvement on non-elective officials making the choices.
“He felt it was worthwhile and positive. I’m expecting to see him just to discuss any outstanding issues when the House returns in the New Year, ” Mr Knight added.