A few moments ago, Health Secretary Alan Millburn stood up in the House of Commons and announced a hospital building programme for the next 12 years with the first hospital to open in 2006. Michael Fabricant questioned him in the Chamber as to what this would mean for South Staffordshire asking:-
"I welcome any hospital building programme whether it be from a Conservative or a Labour Government though I will welcome it still more if any of these hospitals announced today are actually built and opened. It is disappointing that the first one isn’t promised to be open until after the election after next!
"The Secretary of State mentioned hospitals in Leicester and Lewisham, but nothing about Lichfield. What can he tell the people of South Staffordshire whose Victoria Hospital and Hammerwich Hospitals are under threat? What good news can he give the people of Lichfield whose minor injuries unit is threatened with closure, whose renal dialysis unit is threatened with closure, whose maternity unit is threatened with closure, and whose day surgery unit is threatened with closure? Is there any good news he can give them?"
The Secretary of State claimed he was unaware of the circumstances in Lichfield and that he wouldn’t be lectured by Mr Fabricant. "This is a very disappointing reply" says Michael Fabricant.
"I have discussed the situation in Lichfield and in Burntwood on numerous occasions both in and out of the Chamber with Health Ministers and with the Prime Minister. Of course he knows what’s going on in Lichfield and he could have guessed what I was going to ask. What a shame he could give no encouragement to the people of South Staffordshire".