MP says closure of unit is ludicrous
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
TEESDALE’S MP has met with the health secretary to “fight tooth and nail” to save services at Bishop Auckland Hospital.
Last week newly elected MP Dehenna Davison secured an emergency meeting with Matt Hancock to discuss the proposed closures of the stroke unit and reduction of beds at ward six. After the meeting, Mr Hancock said:“I was delighted to meet Dehenna to discuss the issue of stroke services in Bishop Auckland. I was hugely impressed with her hot-footedness in raising the issue with me so quickly and I’m committed to working with her on this important local issue.
“I know that there are concerns locally, so I will look at this matter carefully so we can ensure Bishop Auckland and the surrounding areas have the health services they need going forward.”
Ms Davison said many residents had been in touch to express concerns. She said: “On the first day back in parliament, I secured an emergency meeting with the health secretary to highlight these concerns.
“We discussed steps moving forward, and will be arranging a further meeting in due course.”
She added: “Throughout my campaign, I emphasised that local healthcare would be one of my key priorities.
“To secure a meeting with Matt on our first day back in 2020 shows just how seriously the health department and I are taking this issue.
“I am incredibly concerned that shifting stroke services to Durham will have a substantial negative impact on stroke victims, particularly with regards to recovery therapy. Bishop Auckland Hospital has an outstanding stroke service, with an award winning team, and it would be ludicrous to close this for the sake of further centralisation.
“I will be back in the constituency on Friday and have further discussions planned with local residents with specific concerns about the stroke unit. I will be working with the local community to fight tooth and nail to save our services.”